Exactly how many ensembles does cellist Katherine Jenkinson play with? The latest of her now regular start-of-the-season appearances for Derby Chamber Music was as a member of string quintet the Rogeri Ensemble alongside violinists Simon Smith and Dominic Moore, and viola-players Jon Thorne and Rose Redgrave.

But it was a trio that kicked off, in Dohnányi’s engagingly unpretentious Serenade, Op 10. After a sprightly reading of the opening march, Redgrave gave an eloquent account of the second movement’s long opening viola solo, and the vertiginously twisty theme of the Scherzo’s angular chromatic fugue was navigated with aplomb. The last of the fourth movement’s set of variations emerged as the expressive heart of the whole work, and a crisply buoyant account of the finale played to the music’s neo-classical tendencies, lighting on the artful hints of the first movement march with an insouciance that ruled out unnecessary emphasis.

All five players then gathered for the first of the evening’s two string quintets, Mozart’s in C, K515. The first movement set off with a spring in its step, but a tendency began to emerge for the group’s sound-world to become somewhat homogenised. The minuet (played second, following the movement-order of the first publication), on the brisk side for the allegretto marking, added to the feeling. The first violin/first viola dialogue in the third movement was eloquently shaped, but the expressive intensity felt somewhat uniform, though the finale had more air in the texture. There was much that was enjoyable but the performance seemed overlaid with an inappropriately romantic patina that didn’t really allow Mozart to shine on his own terms.

© Mike Wheeler 2017

  • Dohnanyi: Serenade for String Trio, Op 10
  • Mozart: String Quintet No 3 in C, K 515
  • Brahms: String Quintet No 2 in G, Op 111

Kindly supported by Hon HMT Gibson’s Charity Trust

Katherine Jenkinson

Katherine Jenkinson

Cello

Dominic Moore

Dominic Moore

Violin

Simon Smith

Simon Smith

Violin

Rose Redgrave

Rose Redgrave

Viola

Jon Thorne

Jon Thorne

Viola