Opening its latest Southern California season, titled "Sudden Exposure," as well as the 1985-86 concert year at the UCLA Center for the Arts, the Kronos Quartet brought another intriguing new program to Schoenberg Hall Auditorium on the Westwood campus Friday night.
Unfamiliar composers were represented in the first Los Angeles performances of David Kosviner's "Ciascun Apra Ben gli Orecchi" (1982) and Jon Hassell's "Pano da Costa" (1985), both works surrounding Henri Dutilleux's "Ainsi la Nuit," before intermission. After, the Kronos ensemble gave, with guest artists Sally Chisholm (viola) and Fritz Magg (cello), a revival of Arnold Schoenberg's "Verklaerte Nacht."
For both the energy and suavity of the performances, it was a special evening; a bonus lay in the fact that the approving and attentive audience contained a large number of composers.
Eclectic to a fault, Kosviner's brief (12 minutes), two-part piece dabbles in a number of 20th-Century procedures. Though his materials may be a hodgepodge, the resulting mix can be absorbing and even convincing. Similarly, Hassell's colorful musical fabric--its title means "Cloth From the Coast"--uses ethnic, folk and rhythmic elements to create a most pleasant, if innocuous, sound-construct, not unlike aural wallpaper. Ernesto Lecuona would have recognized the combination.