The Esmé Quartet, at the Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition

The semi-finals and final of the Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition were streamed live over the weekend.  Here is a recording of one of the semi-finals, well filmed with fine sound.

From 37.45, there is a performance of Beethoven’s Op. 59, No. 2 by the Esmé Quartet (four young South Koreans, based in the Berlin —  and the eventual winners). It seems to me that this is quite  astonishingly good. In the final, the Quartet play Schubert D887, bravely taking their time to wonderful effect. Having played together less than two years, they are indeed already hitting the heights.

As the Competition more widely shows, the future of quartet playing seems assured. Which is rather cheering. You can also watch the other semi-final and final here.

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