QUARTET in D Op. 18, No. 3 by Beethoven (in fact the first quartet he composed) opened this concert by the Bochmann Quartet.

It was a performance of total unanimity of interpretation by this talented quartet, whose members include Michael Bochmann (violin), Mark Messenger (violin), Helen Roberts (viola) and Peter Adams (cello).

This was evident from the first Allegro, with solo strands of recurring melody then the Andante con moto built on a complex harmony, with the first violin drawing a melody from its midst, the delicately phrased dance-like Allegro and the vigorous Presto, with a surprisingly quiet and abrupt ending.

Tchaikovsky's Quartet No 1 in D, Op. 11 abounded with sombre Russian rhythm and mood. The Adagio was superb with its mesmeric muted melody, sensitively phrased, all the musicians playing pianissimo, and a magical melodic line rising to an exquisite, even softer, final cadence.

Martin Jones joined the quartet for Elgar's Piano Quintet in A Minor Op 84. The first movement Moderato-allegro rising cello motif led to the emergence of haunting episodes form the strings against the piano, and ultimately a build-up to a broad Elgarian melody.

In the Adagio the viola, with a sensuously warm opening theme, passed it on to the other strings against the wonderfully rhapsodic piano. Here, and in the final Andante-allegro, we have some of the mature Elgar's most masterful ensemble writing, and the performers gave it full recognition.

After the short andante introduction to the third movement, in this extrovert music, with a deliberately rhythmic piano, all the strings played rapidly forte. The musicians had a unity, which ebbed and flowed through the rubatos and expressions, especially needed through the quieter more elegiac section of this movement, and the exhilarating concluding accelerando.

The next concert in this series is on Friday, December 8, when Worcester Cathedral Choir will be singing.