For most classical music-loving Fringe-goers, 100 Princes Street is the place to be for top notch classical performances during the festival season and Mozart at Teatime is no exception. The four incredibly talented musicians that make up the Cavaleri Quartet and the mesmerising skills of Sean Shibe on classical guitar deliver an hour of Mozart and his Italian counterpart Boccherini, performed with passion and conviction appropriate to the music.
Getting things started with Mozart’s second Prussian Quartet piece, Quartet in B Flat, the Cavaleri Quartet throw themselves into an intense performance. This is evident in both their body language and facial expressions: they use eye contact to feed off one another, fuelling each other’s performances with Mozart’s question and answer and imitation throughout the four movements of the piece. This ranges from the fast-paced and exciting ‘Allegro’ to the smoother, more relaxed tempo of ‘Menuetto: Moderato’. Violinists Anna Harpham, Ann Beilby and Ciaran McCabe intermingle beautifully, allowing one another to take on prominent melodies to reveal their individual talent while cellist Rowena Calvert not only provides a good base for the quartet but also expresses her own talents and techniques, manipulating the cello’s pitch to blend in with the three violins.
The second half saw Sean Shibe join the quartet with his classical guitar for a rendition of Boccherini’s ‘Quintet In D Op 40’, also known as ‘Fandango’, which is the name of its final and most exciting movement. With his guitar, Shibe blends in with the string quartet but also stands out, bringing an altogether Spanish/Italian feel to the performance.
During the more demanding parts of the Boccherini piece, the quintet really give it their all, particularly during the final movement ‘Fandango’, during which Calvert exhibits some amazing techniques, slapping the cello strings with her bow almost aggressively while Shibe delivers mesmerising fretwork and stabbing chords. Both chosen pieces are incredibly ambitious and generously textured. The quintet presents them with an enthralling style and passion that the original composers would surely be proud of.