Thursday, 4 April 2013

Buried Treasure: Dig Deeper - Bartholomew Quartet St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton Sun 22 January 2012

A Classical  Gem

The Bartholomew String Quartet

St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton

Sunday 22 January 3pm

A winter Sunday afternoon in St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton
The Bartholomew Quartet
Violins: Dawn Ashby & Anna Cockroft
Viola: Simon Jones & 'Cello: Hilary Boxer

From a series of reviews on 'Classical Journey', Tuesday 24 January 2012 . . .

The first concert of the St Lawrence Chapel 'Winter Sunday Afternoon' series in Ashburton was a resounding success. The setting is perfect. The historic chapel, which was a school for a time, is now a listed building. It is beautiful and historically fascinating, but also wonderful for music. The Royal College of Music have chosen this venue for their examinations in the South West with good reason. The acoustic is phenomenal.

An ensemble like the Bartholomew Quartet are just right to exploit the full potential of the 'school hall'. Anna Cockroft, we know, is a superb leader. Hilary Boxer's skill and sensitivity on the 'cello goes without saying. The other two players are not so familiar - perhaps in Exeter - but equally talented. Dawn Ashby from Plymouth adds the second violin while Simon Jones plays viola.

The concert opened with the advertised Mozart - his 'Prussian Quartet'. Anna led in a glorious classical masterpiece. In the second half was something even more exciting - Mendelssohn's 'Quartet No 3', led by Dawn. Starting with 'vivace' it progresses through 'minuet' and 'andante' to the awesome 'presto con brio'. An exhilarating experience. One additional, and moving, feature of the concert was Puccini's 'Crisantemi' (Chrysanthemums). The single movement, named after the flowers which are the Italian symbol of death, reflects the grief at the death of Amadeo of Savoy in 1890. Dawn led, and the resulting sound - sad and sensitive - was almost overwhelming in that evocative musical setting - of St Lawrence Chapel.

There may be a recording for us to enjoy. Meanwhile, some pictures? . . .

Violin: Dawn Ashby
(Photograph: Cecil Hatfield)
Violin: Anna Cockroft
(Photograph: Cecil Hatfield)
Viola: Simon Jones
(Photograph: Cecil Hatfield)
'Cello: Hilary Boxer
(Photograph: Cecil Hatfield)
that perfect pizzicato - Hilary Boxer
Hilary Boxer - steady as ever!

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