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MUSIC REVIEWS : Mischa Season Closes With Strong Program

April 28, 1993|HERBERT GLASS

The Music for Mischa series ended its fourth season in UCLA's Schoenberg Hall on Sunday with a strong, cohesive program delivered with expertise and conviction.

Producer-cellist Robert Martin's employment of first-rate local artists in ad hoc configurations continues to bear fruit, as evidenced by heart-of-the-matter interpretations that projected the heat of discovery rarely encountered from the famous touring ensembles, whose offerings have frequently been polished to death by the time they reach the West Coast.

The string quartet comprised violinists Margaret Batjer and Rachel Robinson, violist Michael Nowak and cellist Martin. They proved equally adept at communicating the vitality and inventiveness of Haydn's D-major Quartet, Opus 20, No. 4--whose soulful slow movement is perhaps the literature's first significant acknowledgment of the inner voices--and the luscious agonies of Alban Berg's Opus 3 Quartet.

Finally, Schumann's Piano Quintet was a good deal more than merely soothing in the hands of pianist Mona Golabek, whose increased presence on the local chamber music scene is particularly welcome.

Golabek's playing, interacting with the strings' sympathetic, rich-toned execution, emphasized rhythmic drive, with big dynamic contrasts, over prettification.

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