This was so close to the Shostakovitch in terms of how much work was put in, how much energy was coming through, and how exciting it was. It would have been too much to ask of the students to play this as well as the rest of the programme, but Deirdre, Nathalie and myself were very, very tempted.
We sent the video link to Graham for his views - as he had asked us to - and here are his generous comments, reproduced in full.
Sorry it's taken me a while to get round to listening to the piece, deadlines and open air concerts have been occupying me.
So, I think they've done great job. Really. Lots of splendid work and it really deserves a full performance. The timbre works well between the players, dynamics are excellent and I was left wishing the second half was there. So can you thank the players very much for me, I appreciate all their hard work on it.
Things worth thinking about - maybe occasionally some of the inner lines if they're more important moving ones, can be lost in the overall texture, and occasionally some rushing. But that's to be expected and I was happy about that, but more concerned for them! (The viola player does a super job with the tough semiquaver passage when it comes in by the way.) So let me know if they do perform it and I'd be delighted to let people know.
Thanks to you all and good luck with everything.
We are proud of you!