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Aviv String Quartet
From Haydn to Bartok
Jerusalem Music Center, Mishkenot Sha'ananim
Bartok was sandwiched in between Haydn and Beethoven in the Aviv String Quartet's program (Sergey Ostrovsky, Evgenia Epstein, Shuli Waterman, Rachel Mercer), at the Jerusalem Music Centre, Mishkenot Sha'ananim.
This is actually the most efficient way for making Bartok - or any modern composer - palatable for audiences that still regard him as a avant garde modernist, although he is actually already a 20th century classic. His String Quartet Nr. 6 was also the work in which most of the rehearsal time seemed to have been invested, and with which these young musicians appeared to identify best. They captured the work's agitated spirit impressively, in particular the third movement's sardonically burlesque mood and the immediately following final movement's profound resignation.
Haydn's String Quartet op. 77/2 was performed competently, though not all its characteristic subtleties were quite as transparent and polished as one might have hoped. In the Menuetto, the players ignored the qualifying ma non troppo ("not too much"), reducing it to a mere breathless Presto.
In the "Rasumovsky" String Quartet Nr. 3, the Beethovenian energies were vividly expressed. The cello's pizziccato was rendered with particular significance in the slow movement. The concluding fast movement brought the work - and the concert - to its end with exhilarating sparkle.