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Chamber Music

Theatre review: The Potsdam Quartet, Jermyn Street Theatre

The title might lead you to expect that the main focus of David Pinner's bilious 1973 comedy would be on the “Big Four” – Truman, Stalin, Churchill and Atlee – and their meeting in Occupied Germany in July 1945. But these statesmen play second fiddle, so to speak, to the internationally renowned British string quartet (very loosely based on the Griller, their real-life equivalent), who have been hired to provide the entertainment. While the world is being carved up at the Conference offstage, the play is bound in an antechamber where the highly strung musicians kill time between performances by tearing one another apart. 

Don Giovanni: Scottish Chamber Orchestra/ Robin Ticciati, Usher Hall,

If Robin Ticciati launched himself less than dramatically into the slow introduction of the overture of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the rest of his compelling reading of this concert performance with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was instinctively and stylistically secure. Dedicated to the late Sir Charles Mackerras, this Don Giovanni was a young man’s account. With no over-elaborate ornamentation, no halting pauses, Ticciati secured modern playing but of a historically sound nature, with brisk tempi, bouncing and bristling.

Beach House, Heaven, London

Though they are leaders of a loose confederation of new dream pop bands, Beach House make for strange scene figureheads as they shamble on stage, hidden behind ragged fringes and awkward banter. Such simple failings in stage presence are forgotten, however, within about 30 seconds of the first song of a majestic set.