THE musicians of the Regent Quartet: Martin Cropper (violin), Jonathan Lee (violin), Philip Bartai (viola - replacing Cian O Duill in this concert) and Susie Winkworth (cello), were the guest artistes at Sunday afternoon's Worcester Concert Club recital.

An intelligent and sensitively thought out interpretation of Shostakovich's Quartet in C minor, No 8, Op. 110 was the central work. This large-scale piece in five movements (although several run together) is charged with the composer's own emotional response to the terrible destruction by bombing in the Second World War.

The first Largo, ponderous and wandering, led by the cello and soon followed by the others, a haunting whole tone descending scale from the first violin above a murmuring drone, was all discerningly disciplined.

The Allegro molto, relentlessly angry and strident, produced ragged rhythms until, after a pause, the cellist - with admirable control - caressed a beautiful high-pitched melody from her instrument. The piece ended in gaunt desolation.

These young string players had brought a fresh and revealing insight to this challenging work.

Beethoven's Quartet in G major, Op 18, No 2 displayed much careful phrasing and delicate playing. The long phrases of the Adagio cantabile were expressive, the first violin producing some superb high position expertise. The Scherzo caught the spirit of joy, before a rollicking Presto.

Schubert's Quartet in D minor: Death and the Maiden reached its climax in the Andante con moto, with variations on the song which gave the quartet its nick-name.

Martin Cropper, always in control showed his continuing development as leader.