The Alexandra has hidden a light under its bushel for the past seven years.
Last Friday’s October’s session shone a light that could have lit up the esplanade. Some 50 people were fortunate to have been delighted by the virtuosity of a string quartet made up from the most talented and skilled professional musicians from London.
The extraordinary inspirational Johnathan Strange (violin) led, Robin Brightman , Jose Gandia and Roger Clayden into a teasing account of Haydn’s, String Quartet No 4 in G Major. At times the quartet sounded like a full symphony orchestra with broad breathy chords, that provided the violin with a canvas to dance upon. The dynamics and fluency of Strange left one holding one’s breath in the entire performance and with anticipation of what next.
It was no disappointment, Mozart’s String Quartet No3 Bb Major, ‘The Hunt’ followed. A piece that needs precise timings as demonstrated by all four to feel the ‘Hunt’. In the centre section Strange spelt out a short theme which is sent in turn to viola 1, then viola 2, and then cello. It was then repeated in reverse order starting from the cello and back to Strange who perfectly picked up and led into the next section – Miss a beat and the horses fall!
Clayden, a local man, must be applauded for bringing together these superb musicians for the benefit of the community, sometimes I understand at a loss. Thank you Mr Clayden, can’t wait for the full orchestra in November.