Acclaimed Dante Quartet return to Sidmouth

Dante Quartet. Picture: Philip Pratt

Dante Quartet. Picture: Philip Pratt - Credit: Philip Pratt

‘Scintillating’ string quartet make third visit to Sidmouth

A string quartet is an integral part of the line-up for every season of Sidmouth Music concerts which takes place in the Parish Church in Sidmouth.

The Dante Quartet has played in Sidmouth twice already, but its scintillating performance was so well received on the last occasion in 2015 that the four players make a welcome return for a third performance.

The quartet has won awards and plaudits for both its concert performances and its output of recordings. No less than the Guardian considers ‘The unflinching integrity of their interpretation and the excitement of their playing (are) consistently superb’ and there is every expectation that the concert in Sidmouth Parish Church on Saturday, March 23, at 7pm, will reflect this high standard.

The Dantes will open with Haydn’s Quartet op33/5, written towards the end of the 1770s when Haydn had developed this form of music since he last wrote in the style 10 years earlier. It is sometimes known as The Maiden because of the cover design of an early edition. It is one of six dedicated to Grand Duke Paul of Russia and the set is known as the Russian quartets accordingly.

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The next item on the programme is the third quartet by Herbert Howells and called In Gloucestershire. Mainly known for his liturgical compositions, Howells was deeply inspired by his local landscape. Its influence is mingled with thoughts about The Great War, during which this piece was composed.

After an interval will come the final work, the second Rasumovsky Quartet by Beethoven. The set of three was written in 1805 on a commission from Count Rasumovsky, who was himself an accomplished violinist. In similar vein to the Haydn quartet of the first half, this set marks a distinct progression from the previous six quartets of Beethoven’s op18 some six years earlier.

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Tickets are £17 and available from Paragon Books in Sidmouth’s High Street and the TIC on Ham Lane, or online via, or on the door at the church.

More information on this and other Sidmouth Music concerts is available on the web site or from 01395 514618.

Stephen Huyshe-Shires

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