Yesterday evening, patrons flocked to St Ursula Hall at the Cittadella Centre for Culture and the Arts for a performance by the Bliss Quintet. The audience was regaled with two major works in the canon, namely, Boccherini’s Quintet in E Major op. 39 no. 3 and Schubert’s massive work, the Quintet in C Major op. 163, the latter alone lasting over 45mins.
Despite the searing heat, the performers, in a truly professional manner, sailed through the programme with confidence, assurance and relative ease. The Boccherini was a foretaste for the following Schubert which, both architechtonically and emotionally reached the extreme points of the gamut. Giulia Tavano led the Boccherini while Klara Nazaj took over for the Schubert.
The rapport among the musicians was evident from the start, with the fine, crystalline contrapuntal networking very clearly articulated and balance maintained throughout. This balance was even more evident in the great Schubert work, which fluctuated between moments of deep introspection as in the second movement, to joviality and zest in the Scherzo. A singing quality was the hallmark of the performance, particularly coming from the 1st cello and complemented most admirably by the rest of the musicians.
This was the first time that Schubert’s Quintet in C Major was performed in our Festival and it was a performance that will not be easily forgotten!