The Gordon Jacob Quintet of Germany gave a lovely performance of music by Haydn, Britten, Rose, Bach, and Jacob – after whom the Quintet is named.
With confidence and assertiveness, the Quintet, led by Anabelle Gensel, plunged into the first movement of Haydn’s Quintet in G Major op. 77 no. 1. Clear articulation, impeccable balance and the right approach to classical restraint – these were the hallmarks of this performance and one that was to be sustained right up to the end of the concert. Jakob Christoph Kuchenbuch then gave an outstanding performance of a very difficult cello solo piece by Britten, the Suite op. 72. An intellectually very demanding piece, Jakob managed to bring out the work’s dynamic range fully, with difficult double stops, harmonics and very difficult runs.
A charming work by Rose for recorder was performed by Helene Haak, who delighted the audience with her dexterity, playing two recorders simultaneously while maintaining absolute pitch. This was followed by the last two movements from Bach’s Sonata in A Minor for Solo Violin, performed by Annekatrin Tharan. This was a truly accomplished performance, one typified by elegant phrasing and perfect understanding of the Baroque temperament so manifest in any of Bach’s works!
For the final piece, the Quintet came together and performed Gordon Jacob’s delightful Suite for Treble Recorder and Strings, a work made up of seven discrete sections comprising different dance forms alternating by slower movements. This was performed with vitality, panache and great fun by the musicians, who were greeted with a long sustained applause at the end of the concert!