I stumbled on this video on a musical weblog I’ve recently come across. The blog writer had this to say about it: I have just now discovered the wonders of Benjamin Britten’s string quartet writing, and thought I would share this example as proof in spades that the physical experience of the musicians who are playing a piece can be as important as the musical material itself. In this case, and without the intrusion of any non-functional theatrics, they are pretty much one in the same.
Watch this and wonder at how the interaction between the players adds to the enjoyment (and understanding) of the music. None of your Lang Lang affectation — just instinctive immersion in the music.
The performers are the Coull Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Warwick, England. Their lineup has changed since this video was made. At that time, Roger Coull and Philip Gallaway played violin, Gustav Clarkson was on viola, and the cello was played by Nicholas Roberts (Rose Redgrave is the current violist).
The music? It’s Benjamin Britten’s Divertimento No. 1, March.