Review: The Aris Quartet – BBC New Generation Artists


Our Work Experience placement, Jessica Leonard gives us her impressions of a stunning live performance from the Aris Quartet. 

On Tuesday 14th of May, the Aris Quartet performed at Turner Sims as part of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme, which helps talented young musicians reach the next step in their career. The group became well known after winning the International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition, and receiving five awards at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.

From the first note of the two contrapuncti from Bach’s ‘The Art of Fugue,’ there was a stillness in the audience, and after the first few bars, there was an amazing sense of communication within the group. They exploited the textural variation of the piece well, whilst maintaining the typical features of baroque music.

Following this, the Aris Quartet performed the seven movements of Beethoven’s ‘Quartet no 14 in C# minor’. The Quartet showed their range of technical skill throughout this piece, successfully executing both the simple theme of the fourth movement, and the contrasting, aggressive rhythms of the seventh.

In the second half, esteemed clarinettist and former New Generation Artist, Annelien Van Wauwe joined the group to play the Reger Clarinet Quintet, the last of Reger’s chamber compositions. This piece is not often heard in concert, and despite this being Annelien’s first time performing the piece, her rendition of Reger’s work was astounding. The way the mellow tones of the clarinet worked with the strings produced a breath-taking sound, and the way the group worked with the clarinettist created a stunning result.

The overall experience of the concert will not be forgotten by the audience, whose enthusiastic applause acts as a testament to the brilliance of the performance. The concert was recorded by BBC Radio 3, and is scheduled to be broadcast on the 29th of May at 4:30pm.

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