Alnwick Music Society opened its new season at St Paul’s Church, featuring the young Gildas Quartet.
They opened with a committed performance of three short sections from Johann Sebastian Bach’s seminal Art of Fugue. Next came Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet No.2, composed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Henry Purcell’s death. Cellist, Anna Menzies, spoke about the work beforehand with musical illustrations provided by the quartet. It was quite clear from this that they felt passionately about the music, which was reflected in their excellent performance.
After the interval they played Johannes Brahms’ first String Quartet with the same passion accorded to the Britten. The dense, almost orchestral sound of the final movement was particularly well handled and their performance was enthusiastically applauded by the audience. In response, the quartet played a lovely chaconne by Purcell as an encore.