Dante Quartet at Petworth Festival

Dante Quartet.
Dante Quartet.

Founded in 1995, The Dante Quartet feature new boy Richard Jenkinson on cello for their Petworth Festival Concert.

Richard joined the others (Krysia Osostowicz - violin. Giles Francis - violin. Rachel Roberts – viola) just a month or two ago and is delighted at the way he is settling in.

“The previous cellist was retiring. He had been with them for seven years. It is all working out very well.

“The other players are all very much individuals and play with lots of personality. It’s exciting because every concert is different and they are very welcoming.”

For their Petworth Festival concert they perform a group of three varied works all with a relationship to the United States: Britten - String Quartet No 1 in D major, Op 25 (written in the USA in 1941); Barber - Adagio from String Quartet Op 11; and Dvorák - String Quartet in F major, Op 96 (American).

“The first violinist always wants a theme running through the programmes. Britten 1 was written in America. It’s a piece that is fairly new to me. I have done it two or three times. But it is wonderful. You can really hear the seagulls from Aldeburgh. You can hear the seascape. He was brought up at Lowestoft, and I think you can hear that. He was perhaps yearning for England when he wrote it.

“The Barber is a wonderful piece too. It started life as a string quartet. It has been taken on by various orchestras as a warhorse for string groups to play, so it is good to take it back to what Barber wrote.

“The challenge of the piece is the long lines. It’s about trying to create the colours and the tension as the piece goes on. It’s written about a river and you can see it starting small and getting bigger.”

As for the Dvorák, Richard loves the freshness which The Dante Quartet bring to the piece: “It’s a piece that I have known for many years.”

And it’s a lovely thought to be playing it now for festivals: “You get a lovely atmosphere at festivals. It’s great because there is a lovely enjoyment from the audience, and there is a lovely sense of the whole community coming together.”

The Dante Quartet perform at St Mary’s Church, Petworth on Saturday, July 28 at 12 noon. No interval. Tickets on 01798 344576.