R E V I E W S & A R T I C L E S
Flinders Quartet + 1
Schumann Piano Quintet, 20th November 2007
Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne
(The Age, Australia, Clive O'Connell)
A Guest with the Flinders Quartet, pianist Kristian Chong melded into the ensemble with excellent musical tact, collaborating in the first movement of the Schumann E Flat Quintet with an attractive restraint that allowed the strings every opportunity to make their contributions to the work’s sound world. Even in the pacy scherzo, where the piano is a whirlwind of action, Chong kept to his dynamic marker without hogging centre field.
Not that the reading enjoyed success due to Chong alone. The Flinders’ upper lines – violinists Erica Kennedy and Matthew Tomkins – spoke clearly and expressively above the work’s heavy bass, notably in the problematic finale, which oscillates between emphatic statements and lyrical decoration. But the players reached a very high level of achievement in the quintet’s slow-march movement where the lilting C major and aggressive F minor interludes were handled with a confidence and empathy rarely achieved in live performance conditions.