Jack Symonds’ String Quartet No.2 whispers into existence, interrupting the intangible build-up of concert expectancy with an ascending violin line that is the very genesis of this spectacular work.
Over its unique two-part structure Symonds skilfully unravels the DNA of that opening statement, sweeping the listener up in a display of virtuosity, contrasts and textures that bounce off and reflect each other.
This piece brilliantly showcases the string quartet through its wide-ranging breadth of expression and extremes of colour.
Schubert famously remarked of Beethoven’s Op.131, that “after this, what is there left for us to write?” Of the quartets he produced at his full maturity, Beethoven was said to treasure this one as his favourite.
Seven movements are performed without break, ranging from richly harmonic, slow and layered to comically light-hearted and absurd, taking the listener into a deeply intimate world.
From darkness to light, from solitude to ecstasy, the sheer impact of this epic journey might only be realised long after its final notes have faded.