To end what has been a highly successful Music in the Round weekend festival of Schubert, the final concert featured the resident Ensemble 360 in a rendition of Schubert’s late String Quintet in C.
Originally scored for a conventional string quartet arrangement with an additional cello, this was replaced by a double bass in order to provide a richer sonority and Laurène Durantel coped with the transfer with considerable aplomb.
The ensemble expertly illustrated Schubert’s range of characters. The sweeping, lyrical nature of the first movement themes was captured in a sensitive reading, with the performers demonstrating their technical proficiency for the virtuoso passages.
The slow movement was wonderfully moving, with a masterful balance achieved with the utmost sensitivity, the middle section being intensely passionate and echoing late Beethoven.
The captivated audience was then treated to the dance-like scherzo, which the players delivered with clear enjoyment. By contrast, the trio was reflective, bordering on melancholy.
The finale was exciting, considerably summing up this great composer’s style, with his many faces depicted through thoughtful and refined playing. A perfect way to end this weekend’s festival.