Music at Oxford – Notos Quartett
Since its foundation in 2007 the Notos Quartett has won six first prizes as well as numerous special prizes at international competitions in the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and China. For their Oxford debut, the players have devised a rich programme centred around youth, nature, and Oxford itself.
Walton’s piano quartet was written when the composer was just 16, and was published while he was studying at Oxford. Mahler was also 16 when he wrote his own quartet, and a youthful optimism shines through both works. All three composers were deeply affected and inspired by the natural world. Brahms began each day with a walk through the forest, and throughout his life Mahler retreated to his ‘composing huts’, often built near lakesides, in order to find tranquility. Walton, meanwhile, took up full-time residence on the Italian island of Ischia, where his wife Susana created the magnificent gardens at La Mortella.
‘Notos perfectly blended sound brought to mind the experience of a fine old burgundy – rich, warm, elegantly refined, glowing with an inner spirit that resulted in some of the finest chamber music performances I have ever heard anywhere.’
Classical Voice North America