Music Performance Reviews
By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Rossetti String Quartet
Timothy Fain, Violin
Henry Gronnier, Violin
Thomas Diener, Viola
Eric Gaenslen, Cello
(See a Review of Jean-Yves Thibaudet)
At Zankel Hall
Raechel Alexander, Manager, Public Affairs
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 27, 2004
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): String Quartet in G Major, K. 387 (1782), Allegro vivace assai, Menuetto, Andante cantabile, Molto allegro.
Claude Debussy (1862-1918): String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10 (1894), Anime et très décidé, Assez vif et bien rhythmé, Andantino doucement expressif, Très modéré—Très movementé et avec passion.
César Franck (1822-1890): Piano Quintet in F Minor (1879), Molto moderato quasi lento – Allegro, Lento, con molto sentimento, Allegro non troppo, ma non con fuoco.
The Rossetti String Quartet has performed around the globe in chamber concerts and festivals, as well as in collaboration and in residence with numerous organizations, including master classes. It was co-founded in 1996 by violinist Henri Gronnier and violist Thomas Diener. Timothy Fain, violinist, is the newest musician in the group, and cellist, Eric Gaenslen, is active as a soloist and performer with ensembles. (Carnegie Notes).
This stunning group of four youthful chamber musicians, called the Rossetti String Quartet, was as virtuosic as they were vivacious. The Mozart String Quartet was the least exciting or dynamic of tonight's presented works and, in my opinion, could have been eliminated for a work that was more emotionally or thematically connected to the French pieces that completed the program. Satie or Poulenc would have sufficed quite well. The musicians seemed to come alive, when the Debussy String Quartet was introduced. However, the Mozart was lyrical, melodically uniform, and pleasant, with Mr. Gaenslen's strong cello lead in the fourth movement. The piece ended in strongly structured form.
The musicians completely changed affect, as they passionately threw themselves into the Debussy String Quartet, and the first movement, Animé…, was like rippling waves, somewhat reminiscent of Debussy's La Mer. The second movement, Assez vif…, was ecstatically energetic, and the audience was mesmerized. Eery effects were evident in the third movement, Andantino…, with whispering fingering of the strings. The fourth movement, Très modéré…, led to a confident and exciting cello solo by Mr. Gaenslen.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet joined the Rossetti String Quartet for Cesar Franck's dynamic Piano Quintet. Molto moderato…, the first movement, opened with the strings. Mr. Thibaudet seemed quite relaxed tonight, and his intermittent piano passages merged and raced with the electricity of this incredible Quintet. Lento…, the second movement, opened with a melancholy piano-violin duet, followed by elongated chords on strings, especially from Mr. Diener's viola, supported with Mr. Thibaudet's evocative keyboard as background. Allegro…, the final movement, began with Mr. Gronnier's second violin, followed by Mr. Fain's first violin, in shivery string sensations, followed by stormy momentum on Mr. Thibaudet's piano. There was depth and resonance to this piece, and the audience demanded encores.
Kudos to Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and kudos to the Rossetti String Quartet.