Magazine article Musical Opinion

Tetra at the Purcell Room

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Tetra at the Purcell Room

Article excerpt

Tetra means four, but the Guitar Quartet of that name, who celebrated their 10th Anniversary Season with a capacity concert at the Purcell Room on 19 February, play, like the Musketeers, one for all and all for one. Their impeccable ensemble, fine ability to subtly alter the balance of individual parts, and technical facility combined in good measure with an approachable stage presence, witty introductions and their own appealing arrangements. One of these, Walton's Facade, arranged by Stephen Goss, set a high note for the evening. This was followed by a beautifully imaginative piece by Leo Brouwer, Cuban Landscape with Rain, that fully exploited the resonances of the medium: raindrop plucked notes at the outset gradually woven into a rich harm.nic tapestry with a stormy central interlude intensifying towards a hailstone climax; metallic plucking on all four guitars, with the initial calm to conclude. Stravinsky's Six Pieces, in a version by Gilbert Biberian, offered a more sharply contrasted array of textures, the piquant March and Polka balanced by a very seductive Andante, with bell-like resonances. The Espanola and Napolitana's witty gait proffered some incisive interplay, despite some ragged articulation, capped by the zestful Galop.

Richard Storry's arrangement of Bernstein's West Side Story was full of poetic colour and ingenious percussive effects, the clicking fingers of the Sharks at the outset and finger tapping Castanet's rhythms for the South American dances. Spread across the four guitars, pulsating chordal patterns and lucidly etched melodies, Storry's own mellow solos gave a distinctive sonority, with expressive pianissimo passages, as at the conclusion. …

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