On Wednesday 16th November the Heong Gallery and Downing College Music Society welcomed the Duke Quartet, where an appreciative audience of 47 filled the gallery space, surrounded by the latest exhibition Portraits of Place.

The Duke Quartet is formed of four of the University's finest instrumentalists, brought together by the University's prestigious Instrumental Award for Chamber Music scheme.  Overseen by Margaret Faultless, leader of the Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment and affiliated academic of Clare and Girton Colleges, the scheme regularly fosters particularly fine ensembles.

The Duke Quartet are (photographed left to right):

Violin I - Anita Monserrat

Violin II - Anahita Falaki

Viola - Seleni Sewart

Cello - Laura van der Heijden

This is their debut performance.

The featured work, Beethoven's first 'Razumovsky' Quartet (Op.59, No.1), gets its sobriquet from Prince Razumovsky, the Russian ambassador to Vienna, who commissioned the work in 1804 on the sole proviso that they (the three Razumovsky quartets) be Russian in theme.

The first quartet made waves when it was first performed: the structural rifts of the second movement shocked a contemporary audience and its technical difficulty prompted the leader of the first quartet to perform it, Ignaz Schuppanzighh, to complain that it was 'too unusual and challenging'.  To this, Beethoven simply replied: 'They are not for you, but for a later age'.

For details of forthcoming events at the Heong Gallery, see our College events page.

Published on 18 November 2016.