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The songs emerged fresh-minted

Solem Quartet Ref 4977 Please Credit Bertie Watson Smed

Ron Simpson, The Reviews Hub

How many string quartets have you heard playing in a room above a self-described “canteen” packed with young people to an audience (rather less young) standing around or perched on settees?

“…the Solem Quartet seemed to enjoy the experience as much as the audience.”

The first half was devoted to Steve Reich’s Different Trains from 1988, a personal and unexpectedly powerful response to the Holocaust.

Another icon of the 1980s (and beyond) took us into the second half: Kate Bush, but presented with lush accompaniment from string quartet in 2nd violinist William Newell’s evocative arrangements… Newell’s scores often provided a counter-melody to Zawadzki’s soaring vocals which added a touch of passion to Bush’s original surreal sound.

“From the opening Cloudbuster where the Solem Quartet seemed to be re-discovering their hidden baroque to Running Up That Hill with Zawadzki declamatory over sympathetic strings, the songs emerged fresh-minted.”

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