Review: Goldner String Quartet. UKARIA, March 26
It was a pleasure to hear Australia’s most consistently successful string quartet for the first time in what may eventually become Australia’s most successful small country concert hall.
This landmark concert, part of UKARIA’s signature Sunday afternoon series, featured traditional fare and therefore gave a perfect opportunity to size-up the hall’s acoustic virtues as well as the Goldner String Quartet’s qualities that have kept it at the forefront for so long.
Pick of the crop was undoubtedly Beethoven’s expansive String Quartet in E Minor Op 59 No 2, which positively sizzled in its rumbustious Presto Finalebut attained ultimate refinement and poise in the eloquent cantilenas of the Molto Adagio. The Goldners were superb in the tensile strength and absolute unity of purpose they brought to bear, lifting spirits through their rich and perfectly balanced tonal palette that illuminated Beethoven’s score.
UKARIA’s crystal-clear acoustic also played a vital part. It complements string tone with enough warmth to wrap the sound without confining it and enough edge without the slightest distortion.
Earlier, this perfect partnership produced the sunniest Dvorak you could wish for in an appropriately laid back reading of the American Quartet Op 96, full of generously applied whimsy and sparkle.
A return visit by the Goldners would probably represent a marriage made in heaven for UKARIA supporters.