The Strad

After the winning beauty of cellist Jessie Ann Richardson in the opening theme, the group’s playing was full of drama and colour, which could turn on an instant into caressed, limpid lyricism. The musicians skilfully negotiated the great musical patchwork of the ‘Dumka’, from fervent expression to easy-going song. The Scherzo was light and effervescent, and the finale drove onwards, with some sparkling staccato. This was a multifaceted performance of lightness, profundity, power and charm….Boyle’s E minor Quartet is a beautiful piece, certainly worthy of attention, although, as the Piatti Quartet’s leader Michael Trainor said, even these musicians have had few chances to perform it live. The first of its three movements, Allegro moderato, shows some affinity to Vaughan Williams, mournful and not quite pentatonic, with open textures. The long lines of its Adagio were wonderfully sustained and nicely shaped, natural, understated and affecting. The short final Allegro molto was dancing and energetic.

Tim Homfray, The Strad, May 2024