Distinguished performers Emily Sun (violin), Tobias Breider (viola), Umberto Clerici (cello) and Daniel de Borah (piano) constituted a formidable team for this stylistically varied program of piano quartets.
Frank Bridge (1899-1941), mainly remembered these days as having been Benjamin Britten’s teacher, composed much chamber and orchestral music including a wonderful orchestral suite The Sea (1911).
His Phantasy Piano Quartet, H. 94, an attractive piece in three continuous movements from 1910, possesses a clearly defined structure much influenced by French music and featuring a graceful opening Andante with a light-footed central Scherzo. The final movement achieves a passionate climax before the quiet reflective ending. These players gave it fluency and great stylishness.
Tasmanian born Peter Sculthorpe’s Landscape II for piano quartet was commissioned by Musica Viva Australia in 1978. Blending Japanese, Balinese and Australian Aboriginal elements in a way very characteristic of its composer, the work is effectively four meditations featuring Sculthorpe’s typical nature sounds. It was given sensitive, refined treatment with the bird calls delicately delineated.
Brahms himself played...