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Wednesday evening, in Jordan Hall, the London String Quartet gave a recital including the Mozart D minor Quarter, the "Pixy Ring" by Mr. Warren of the quarter, and the Debussy G Minor Quartet. As announced, the program seemed well chosen and well balanced; heard, it lost much through the insertion of a long and rather aimless encore which served only to tire the listener and so render him incapable of constant and adequate attention to the Debussy number. Thus, at least, it seemed to the reviewer--who was sleepy.
A charming Mozart quartet, like that of Wednesday evening makes an excellent beginning--from the listener's standpoint. For the players it is not easy to "Warm up" on Mozart, and there is no more exacting test than the playing of a such a work. The parts stand out always crystal-clear, and there is no room for the least carelessness. To this test the Londoners subjected themselves, and emerged triumphant as a finished ensemble of skilled musicians.
Mr. Warner's fairy suite "The Pixy Ring" is vivid, colorful, and highly original, and is firmly grounded on accomplished musicianship. The naive quality of his work seems akin to that of Arnold Bax; his companions caught it admirably. An extremely enthusiastic audience demanded and obtained an encore, which was not well chosen, and served to deaden the effect of the Debussy quartet, which seemed well played and of great beauty. It is a pity that Boston audiences do not encourage this excellent quartet to appear here more frequently.
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