Stricker Hall, Tel-Aviv
Complementing another concert given last Thursday, the superb Ysaye Quartet completed the entire cycle of Mozart's so-called "Haydn Quartets".
Largely considered the composer's highest achievement in the genre of string quartets, these pieces are stylistically bold, and at points even foreshadow 20th century music. As expected of this fine group, the reading was almost impeccable technically, and offered perfect balance between the four members. At several points, such as the second movement of the C-Major quartet, the group fully captured the intricacies of the music.
Having commended the quartet's technical command, one must also note a minor downside to their interpretation: they lacked edge. A perfect rendition of these quartets would not shun Mozart's eccentricities, but rather embrace them. Although polished and tasteful, the Ysaye members did not provide this extra element. This missing component was especially evident in the famous opening of the "Dissonances" quartet, which demonstrated less tension and intensity than one would desire. Yet, this is only a minor reservations: in all, it was a fine rendition of superb music.