To me the viola is the austere queen of the string instruments. This Viola, like its namesake in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with a predisposition to both green and yellow melancholia, can have a voice as deep and sweet as Kathleen Ferrier’s, and all is present in Stéphanie Bozzini’s crystal clear, vibrato-free interpretation, when she smiles at sorrow itself.
Beautiful songs may not be too long, but this evening brevity was the governing principle, in Allgén’s fourteen gregorian variations turned towards eternity in their ascetic monastic cell; in the mournful tone of orthodox church Slavonic in Stravinsky’s Élégie, in Clementi’s bold attempt at playing four hands with himself on four strings in twelve variations on a seventeenth century chorale, each one on top of that played twice, only to culminate in Lars Hallnäs’ 24 movements of the uttermost concentration. All this within the hour.
But what took place had a feeling of real importance, especially when Lars Hallnäs with a composed step took his position among the great masters. He speaks of his lapidary movements as ruins of a largo, which we can only vaguely grasp, but he also gives a hint at his aim to reach beyond a zero point. It is there, in the total uncertainty, that the great mystic takes place, and in Hallnäs’ piece it does so, not only mystically but also magically.
The rest was to be found in the exquisite playing of Canadian Stéphanie. Vi can regard ourselves happy that the long-distance visitors of the Bozzini Quartet now seems to travel to Borås on a multibuy discount.