Review: Carducci Quartet and Palisander at Ryedale Festival

Carducci String Quartet
Carducci String Quartet

Is there a more innovative or original music festival anywhere in the country?

Each Ryedale Festival event plays to the strengths of a regional location, in this instance Sledmere House and church.

One half of the audience attended the Carducci’s recital in the house, while the other suffered the pews in the church, though the compensation was the excellent acoustics.

The audience then swapped over for the second half.

The Carducci Quartet, playing with considerable brio, gave us Philip Glass’ stunning String Quarter no 3, adapted from music he wrote for the film Mishima.

The prolific Glass relies on hypnotic rhythms that gradually morph into the most affecting of melodies. For me, this was the highlight of the evening.

Perhaps even more popular, and certainly more familiar, is Dvorák’s String Quartet no 12, The American.

Each movement is packed with melodies that reference spirituals, Native American music and birdsong.

In complete contrast, Palisander played the widest variety of recorders I have ever seen.

The theme for the evening was the Tarantella, the music for the dance that can, reputedly, ameliorate the venom of the tarantula. The four members of the quartet even gave us a demonstration in the evening’s finale, though without any arachnid intervention.

With so many instruments deployed (I was particularly taken with the contrabass recorder) and nine short pieces, we were thoroughly engaged by the musicianship and variety on offer.

A wonderful evening’s entertainment.

Ryedale Festival continues until Sunday July 30.

The final gala concert is at Hovingham Hall on Sunday at 6.30pm.

Royal Northern Sinfonia will be joined by Bradley Creswick (violin) and Lawrence Power (viola).

The programme includes Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante (K.364) and Sally Beamish – Viola Concerto no. 3 and Beethoven – Symphony no. 7.