The Pavel Haas Quartet glimpsed rehearsing the Shostakovich Quintet for their Wigmore Hall concert on Wednesday with the terrific Boris Giltburg. The evening performance was wonderful, the best I’ve heard that piece played, full of ambiguities, tensions, life and colour. Indeed — as Boris Giltburg says — they rocked! (Or as the Times reviewer put it, they were at the top of their game. “The prelude was beautifully drawn, its counterpoint perfectly balanced. The sulphurous jig of the scherzo thickly painted, grimacing theatre music, while the intermezzo unfolded with magical transparency. There’s a volte-face in the finale to levity, a shift in tone that the quartet managed here with the grace of a master conjurer.”)
Here they are playing the intermezzo of the Quintet live on the BBC the previous evening (starting 43 mins in).
And here are just the Quartet on Swiss Radio, a concert they played in Geneva earlier in the month (Schulhoff, Quartet No. 1; Dvorák, Quartet No. 12, ‘American’; Tchaikovsky, Quartet No. 3).