REVIEW: ‘Virtuoso’ is definitely the right word

Ensemble Reza, Holy, Trinity Church, Cuckfield, Saturday, November 30

With the outside temperature rapidly dropping in the winter darkness, classical music lovers gathered in the warm glow of Holy Trinity Church for a wonderful night of music from Ensemble Reza.

The Mid-Sussex based musicians offered an enchanting evening of works by Arensky and Brahms, performed with passion and precision.

The first piece of the evening was an exquisite version of Arensky’s Quartet in A minor. The musicians drew out the sweet sense of melancholy at the beginning before launching into the more frenetic and jaunty moments with confidence and control.

The ending of this piece really allowed the players to show what they could do, as they offered a breathlessly exciting display of dexterity and flair.

Before the interval, the audience was dazzled once more by the young musicians from Burgess Hill School For Girls. The pupils gave an astonishingly mature performance of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (the first movement), which left the audience stunned at the talent they had just witnessed.

After the interval, all six musicians appeared to play Brahms’ Sextet No.1 in B flat major. After Arensky’s occasionally erratic style, this piece provided a luxurious and soothing tone, as the players carefully let their melodies interact with each other,

That’s not to say the piece lacked a sense of drama, though – far from it. The second movement had a much more rousing and adventurous sound, which easily swept the listener away. The music then galloped towards a delightful end in the joyful final movement.

Overall, the superior musicians of Ensemble Reza provided an excellent show (with a fun encore involving a piece by Tchaikovsky), living up to their use of the word “virtuoso” to describe their musical style.

By Lawrence Smith