Opening was Haydn's jovial String Quartet Op. 50, No. 4. Belcea-Fisher's delicate pianissimos worked best in the Andante movement, where ravishing music emerged. Lederlin's fugal entrance was a highlight of the final movement. Overall, the Haydn sounded pure, crisp and well articulated.
More compelling though was the second work, Prokofiev's String Quartet No. 2. Lederlin's singing solo passages in the second movement were incredibly beautiful. But so too was some brilliant scoring by the composer when cello and first violin played unison against marvelous musical counterpart from the other two players. The final tripartite movement scooted along joyfully thanks to propulsive rhythms and muscular playing.
Most winning of all the works, however, was Schubert's masterpiece, String Quartet D. 810. From the dramatic chord blasts at the outset to the amazing presto bars at the conclusion, the Belcea Quartet proved indefatigable.
Lederlin's cello played a lead role here, both with lovely singing legatos and abrupt plucked strings -- a technique displayed masterfully by all the performers.
Gus Gianakaris, Kalamazoo Gazette, 10 March 2009
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