I first went to hear the original Talich quartet in London at the Wigmore Hall about 30 years ago. The dense power, lightness of touch and liquidity that were so impressive then were equally evident yesterday afternoon in Quimper, when the current line-up, including a member of the original family, performed Schubert's Death and the Maiden and their speciality, Dvorak, (Quartet No.10) at the Theatre de Cornouaille. This was a Sunday 'chocolate concert' with hot chocolate to drink and handmade chocolates to sample before the show. And what a show it was. We were sitting in the balcony, a perfect vantage point for every bowing, facial expression and bald spot. It was magnificent, and a packed theatre would have sat for many more than the three encores we got. This morning I unearthed my recording of the Talich playing Dvorak quartets and quintettes and it is playing as I write. Moving, exciting and so evocative of my long love-affair with eastern Europe and time spent there.
I am a writer living in Finistere. Published work includes many books and articles on the history and legends of Brittany, walking guides and fiction. Latest books: Spirit of Place in Finistere (landscape-writing) and a new collection of Finistere walks. I also teach Breton history, give talks about Brittany and guide tours all over the region. See my website wendymewes.com