It was a very rare and special treat to see and hear the young Pavao String Quartet perform Leos Janacek’s 2nd Quartet, entitled Intimate Letters, at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre.
Added to that, we were lucky enough to have the celebrated actor Timothy West reading extracts from the letters, which the ageing composer had written to a young lady with whom he had fallen passionately in love.
The award-winning instrumentalists surprised us by playing a delightfully sunny quartet by Janacek’s compatriot Antonin Dvorak in the first half of the evening.
Sadly, we had no printed programmes to refer to, and no Timothy West had appeared, so we were wondering if we had come to the right concert!
After the interval our fears were allayed, as a writing-desk and chair appeared for the actor, and the aforementioned group began to play extracts from Intimate Letters.
The music was cleverly and movingly interwoven with the written words, passionately declaimed by Mr West, melding enticingly together and entrancing the audience.
As a climax to the evening, the quartet played the whole work with great panache, virtuosity and emotion, and we felt we had shared the entire love-story of this most underrated of composers.
Old Mead Road