THE WHOLE GAMUT AT THE V. & A.
CER MANY'S leading string quartet, the Koeckert Quartet, are performing all Beethoven's works for string quartet at the Victoria and Albert Museum in six concerts. The lirst of the series was last Sunday.
The Raphael Cartoon Gallery forms an admirable setting for these concerts, and the series is very welcome in London after an absence of many years. With one exception, in fact, no quartet has attempted the cycle since the Busch Quartet's memorable performances.
Judging by last Sunday's performance—and attendance, which almost packed the hall—one hopes that this will not be the last time that the Koeckert Quartet performs the cycle here. The Quartet's most striking feature. is the players' extraordinarily excellent ensemble. which enables them to breathe and punctuate their phrases, or imperceptibly to lengthen or quicken them, as one instrument. They began with the light D major quartet from Op. 18. followed by Beethoven's last work. Op. 135, in which the slow movement was outstanding. It was played with the mellowness of tone and nobility that the movement demands.
The concert ended with the second of the Rasum offsk y quartets. An unusually slow tempo in the last movement brought out much of the whimsical humour that is often missed when taken faster.
The last three concerts take place on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday next. L.H.