Young quartet plays with complete mastery

Last updated 12:00 17/03/2014

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What: Chamber Music New Zealand presents the Kelemen Quartet
Where: Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North
When: Saturday March 15
Reviewed by: Stephen Fisher

Capitalising on their success in the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the relatively recently formed, youthful and highly acclaimed Kelemen Quartet from Hungary returned to Australasia in a much anticipated tour. Imagine their disappointment when cellist Dóra Kokas injured herself and was forced to return to Hungary. An urgent call went out and Hungarian guest cellist Ákos Takács, already well known to the remaining members of the quartet, completed the tour with only slight changes to the original programme.

On Saturday night the quartet performed at the Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North, in a stunning recital featuring Mozart's Dissonance Quartet, Kodaly's Serenade for two violins and viola, Haydn's Opus 20 No 4 and Bartok's arresting Fourth String Quartet. It was a surprisingly ordered programme but a magnificent demonstration of the power of chamber music in the hands of this very relaxed but finely tuned and aware ensemble.

While the quartet has gained much acclaim, the individual players (Barnabas Kelemen - violin, Katalin Kokas - violin/viola and Gabor Homokai - violin/viola) are international prizewinning soloists.

They showed complete mastery of the entire range of their eclectic programme, each work presented with appropriate sensitivity and outstanding musicianship, the evening culminating in an encore that further enhanced the audience's admiration.

The Kelemen Quartet was an inspired choice to begin Chamber Music New Zealand's 2014 season. We look forward to further riches.

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- Manawatu Standard

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