It's hard to knock good intentions. The idea of bringing chamber music to the small, coastal city of Seal Beach continues to be a positive contribution to the community's enrichment.
But at the opening concert of the 15th annual Seal Beach Chamber Music Festival, Thursday night at McGaugh School Auditorium, there were problems. The program, which included a pair of string quartets by Haydn and Brahms, was interesting enough but was executed in a clumsy, halfhearted way.
The auditorium deserves part of the blame. Thick red carpeting made the string ensemble sound overly brittle while pointing up frequent inaccuracies.
Still, the forces at hand, the Monarch String Quartet--Edward and Roxie Persi, violins, Craig Gibson, viola, and Alan Parker, cello--could have used more preparation. For a short evening of about 80 minutes--announcements and a somewhat lengthy intermission included--the music became tedious and staggered without substantial aim or insight.