The current season of Doheny Mansion soirees ended on Friday with a delectable program by the Mozartean Players: pianist Steven Lubin, violinist Stanley Ritchie and cellist Myron Lutzke, as highly accomplished practitioners of 18th-Century style on instruments of the time.
Together, they are all that could be desired of a chamber ensemble: balanced and cohesive in sound, temperament and interpretive outlook, and technically secure, notwithstanding some dicey moments on Friday at the outset of Mozart's seraphic Trio in B-flat, K. 502, when Lubin, reportedly suffering painful back spasms, gave every indication of not being able to make it through the evening.
The pianist had, however, sufficiently recovered by Mozart's finale to make a substantial contribution to the pleasures of a program that if delivered by, say, the modern-instrument Beaux Arts Trio, would have been regarded as consisting entirely of warm-up pieces. All three works deserve to be honored rather than condescended to, as the players amply proved.
In addition to Mozart, the group offered Haydn's Trio in E-flat, No. 29, with its outrageously bumptious \o7 alla tedesca \f7 finale, and Beethoven's witty and, in this context, powerful, Trio in E-flat, Opus 1, No. 1.
Optimum spirit and stylishness characterized the Mozarteans' interpretations that exhibited a good deal more (and decidedly welcome) string vibrato than we usually get from antiquarian performers.