New Generation Artists Prom

In a world swamped with contests and prizes, it is good to encounter a scheme focused more on developing talent than exploiting it. Such is Radio 3's New Generation Artists Scheme, whose 10-year celebrations comprised 12 bewilderingly busy chamber music Proms held over the bank holiday weekend.

One striking feature is the number of excellent solo violists the programme has nurtured (three, compared with only five violinists). The imposing figure of Lawrence Power needs no introduction, though many would be surprised at how well-integrated was his collaboration with the Kungsbacka Piano Trio's exemplary rendition of Mozart's playful and passionate G major Piano Quartet. Antoine Tamestit's contribution was less subtle, including an overcooked Schumann Adagio and Allegro and two of Brahms's songs for alto, viola and piano, which saw Shai Wosner's excellent piano and Daniela Lehner's wobbly contralto rather pushed into the background.

Maxim Rysanov, the most recent of the violists to join the scheme, gave a stirring, refreshingly old-school performance of Bach's transcribed Fourth Cello Suite. It was overshadowed, however, by Danjulo Ishizaka's barnstorming, richly poetic interpretation of Zoltán Kodály's Sonata for Solo Cello. Among the other soloists, there was no surprise in finding the fearless Tai Murray and the bashful Alina Ibragimova, both violinists, each excelling according to their startlingly different styles.

But the best concert – at least to my somewhat overstimulated mind – featured only string quartets. The irritatingly named Meta4 delivered a mesmerising version of Haydn's wonderful D major Op 20 Quartet, before the urbane Psophos explored the rich colours of Debussy's Quartet (again, it was the violist who shone here). The Royal made a fine case for Szymanowki's Debussy-influenced First Quartet.

The finale involved all three groups, joined by the excellent Pavel Haas Quartet, romping in a not-always-orderly fashion through JB Van Bree's hilarious, charming ping-pong match of an Allegro for four string quartets.

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