When I arrived at Wigmore Hall, I was surprised at the size of it – I expected it to be really big, but it was much smaller than I had imagined. However, this in a way made the concert more personal.

The Matteo Quartet, formerly the Esher Quartet, started the concert with Beethoven’s String quartet in F minor. It started off with an opening unison bar, played together at their loudest, which proved to return later on in more sing-song parts. I think this loud and confident beginning really awoke the audience, and caught our attention bringing us along with them on the ride. I thoroughly enjoyed listening as well as watching all the players, including the incredibly enthusiastic 1st violin player! The second movement, started beautifully by the cello, continued to chop and change – with contrasting harsh fast passages next to song like lyrical parts which was brought alive throughout all the movements.

The solo pieces by Natalie Clein were written for her by composers that she had chosen, and commissioned – Thomas Larcher and Fyfe Dangerfield. This was from funds from the Amaryllis Fleming Foundation, which I think is a great idea as it gives new and upcoming composers a chance to show their work.

The first piece, a Sonata by Thomas Larcher, was extremely inventive – perhaps a little too much for me. Yes, it was incredibly tense and left you eager to find out what was next: and also made you rethink about what the cello can do, from plucking and playing to notes so high that they are off the fingerboard! However, I think that maybe he had pushed the boundaries a little too far, but that is simply my view - I found it entertaining but it was not really my type of music.

However, I found the second piece, ‘Eggshell Walker’ incredibly enjoyable. Dangerfield had added just the right amount of modern touch to make it open to all audiences, and you could hear the pop influence from Fyfe Dangerfield’s background as the front man of the group Guillemots. This was one of my favorite pieces of the evening, and I would love to hear it again.

The final piece was played by all the previous performers, as well as the amazing violist Jennifer Stumm. This piece really finished off the evening in style, and it was a change to hear the depth of the sound and instruments, contrasting with the lone sound of Clein in the cello solos. This really showed the complexity of the music, and both the cello and violist stood out massively through the different parts. This was also one of my favorite pieces, however in a different way to Clein’s second solo piece!

I really enjoyed the whole concert, and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone, young or old, to hear some excellent music. I found it really inspiring, and experiencing the passion that people have for music would encourage anyone to get involved.

Beth Fitzpatrick, age 14

The concert I went to at the Wigmore Hall on 21st June 2009 was a string showcase, which consisted of: Beethoven’s String Quartet in F minor, played by the Matteo Quartet, The world premiere of Sonata for violoncello by Thomas Larcher and the London premiere of Eggshell walker by Fyfe Dangerfield, both played by Natalie Clein. And to end String Sextet in B flat by Brahms; performed by both the quartet and Clein, and also joined by violist Jennifer Stumm.