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Raw noise and mixed emotions

The Times, Paul Driver

Sheffield, in a sort of reverse gesture, brought musical wares to London last weekend. The admired Music in the Round chamber series, based at the Crucible Studio Theatre, presented four programmes centred on Schumann and Mendelssohn, performed by its resident Ensemble 360, at Wigmore Hall. Coals to Newcastle, perhaps; but when the playing was as searing as the account by the group’s string contingent, led by Benjamin Nabarro, of Mendelssohn’s F minor Sixth Quartet, one hardly complains. From their brutal opening (fortepiano) attacks — like a raw noise — to Nabarro’s dazzling dexterity at the tragic end, this relentless outpouring of the composer’s grief for the loss of his sister, Fanny, was pure pain made utterly compelling.

Nabarro, with the pianist Tim Horton, had previously lent formidable (and virtuosic) passion to Grieg’s C minor Sonata No 3. And the clarinettist Matthew Hunt, with Horton, realised Schumann’s Fantasiestücke Op 73, a sonata by any other name, with terrific panache.

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Tim Horton’s unaffected, heartfelt playing is perfectly judged

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Tim Horton shone

The Guardian, Alfred Hickling

Revelatory playing

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Back To Top 14/05/2021