The Ensemble Reza were warmly welcomed back to perform at the Funtington Music Group’s concert at the University of Chichester on Wednesday last week.
The programme they chose included Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht, probably the most popular piece today written by Schoenberg, a work written in 1899 which spans the divide between Romanticism and Modernism. It is full of lush post-Romantic harmonies, and surging melodic lines, but it is also foretelling Schoenberg’s abandonment of traditional tonal harmonies.
Pavlos Carvalho introduced the piece and wisely concluded his introduction by helpfully reading the poem on which the piece is based, written in 1896 by Richard Dehmel. This put the piece into context, with its range of emotions from tragedy to redemption, from agony to ecstasy. The Reza interpreted this most challenging of pieces by producing a glorious breadth of textures and musical colour. This was an assertive and top quality performance from six outstanding musicians.
The introductory piece was Schubert’s Quartettsatz D703.This was a convincing choice to come before the Schoenberg, and the Reza produced a formidably satisfying performance. They brought a balanced mix of vitality, depth, musical expertise, combined where necessary with a playful and theatrical flair.
No one musician can be highlighted as the players, although individually brilliant, played with a real tangible feeling of collegiate responsibility. The concert concluded with a performance of Dvorak’s Sextet in A Major, Opus 48. In their interpretation, The Reza created a fitting conclusion to a magnificent concert, which was extremely well received by the audience.
Further details of the Funtington Music Group can be obtained from the membership secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Brooks, on 01243 378900.