Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Music Review

Pacifica Quartet Exudes Confidence

May 04, 1999|DANIEL CARIAGA | TIMES MUSIC WRITER

Talk about historic sites: Near the western edge of Pasadena, less than a mile north of the practically forgotten neighborhood of Garvanza--the original, Spanish name of Highland Park--what used to be the San Rafael Winery, built in 1867, overlooks a spring-fed lake surrounded by a broad expanse of grass, sycamore trees and oaks.

A three-story private residence has been constructed over the shell of the winery, and on Sunday afternoon its doors were opened for the season's final Chamber Music in Historic Sites concert. The Pacifica String Quartet, a prizewinning ensemble of young and virtuosic players, offered two one-hour performances devoted to Haydn's rarely heard Quartet in D minor, "Quinten," three excerpts from Dvorak's "Cypresses" and Mendelssohn's Quartet in E minor, Opus 44, No. 2.

Pacifica lives up to its prizes. The four players--Simin Ganatra, Kyu-Young Kim, Kathryn Lockwood and Brandon Vamos--have matching sounds, deferential musical manners, technique and promise to spare. They are all 30 or younger--still embryonic as chamber musicians--and they haven't yet developed a strong group personality, but their confidence is high and their playing can be compellingly expressive. In this case, their skills easily matched their program.

The playing at the 3:30 performance proved thoroughly engrossing and accomplished. The reading of Haydn's wondrous "Fifths" Quartet was most impressive for its clarity, control and effortless articulation. But the gentle beauties of the Dvorak and Mendelssohn pieces seemed particularly appropriate to the natural scene outside the house.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|