Stories » Benjamin Grosvenor with the Doric String Quartet at barbican, was a night to remember / The Arts Desk

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Benjamin Grosvenor with the Doric String Quartet at barbican, was a night to remember / The Arts Desk

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Welcome to Milton Court's evening with the Doric String Quartet and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, with a spot of Chopin. The evening began pleasantly enough with the Doric Quartet in the Schubert Quartettsatz. This fast-rising young ensemble looks as if it has stepped straight out of an Ian McEwan novel. Earnest, stylish and intense, they offset one another in the ensemble with an engaging flexibility and minute attention to detail, painting the music with vivid contrasting colours that – though ever so slightly verging towards mannerism – remains thoroughly memorable. The pianist Benjamin Grosvenor joined the ensemble for the rest of the concert, first with a rare performance of Chopin's Piano Concerto No 1 in a chamber version (arranged by whom we are not told, but available sheet music is by Kevin Kenner and Krzysztof Dombek), the quartet augmented by double bassist Laurène Durantel. Soon Grosvenor's playing, which has deepened, darkened and matured with the years, seemed to hold the strings in a generous embrace that lifted the entire ensemble towards a whole new kind of stratosphere.

This was, to put it mildly, a night to remember.

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