On a beautiful early summer evening Friday 18th May, Bratton Clovelly was treated to something special: a quartet whose sensitivity to the music and to each other’s playing was so palpable that the audience sat captivated, hushed and utterly engaged.
The programme was a joy, beginning with Mozart’s Hunt quartet and including Imogen Holst’s evocative Phantasy, with its poignant conversations between instruments and constant changes of tone, colour and mood. After the interval we had, by contrast, the enchantingly spare Summa by Arvo Part, followed by Dvorak’s American quartet with its folk elements and grand sweeping descriptions of space and movement. This was a clever programme for the audience, starting with the comfort of familiar sounds and then taking them on a constantly changing journey.
It wasn’t necessarily a typical classical music audience from Bratton Clovelly and surrounding villages, but it was enthusiastic. Many had never been to a classical concert before; some brought along young children. That this group cheered and clapped and wanted more, that the children sat quietly mesmerised, is testament to the ability of the Haldon to bring the quartet repertoire to deepest rural Devon and make it sing to all who listen.
The Haldon say of themselves that they love being together, playing together and this shows. They are not simply four highly skilled musicians who play very well together, but truly a quartet who lift the music off the page as one beautifully textured multi-voiced whole.
Thank you, Lindsay Braga, Steve Banks, Andrew Gillett and Rebecca Allnatt for a treat of an evening.