Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Music Review

Swiss Quartet Brightens a Dark Room With Its Play

November 14, 2000|RICHARD S. GINELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Da Camera Society's ever-on-the-move Chamber Music in Historic Sites series is zeroing in on the churches and residences of the West Adams district this season--starting with the 1912-vintage MacGowan Mansion on Sunday afternoon. Again, the series found an aesthetically satisfying room for intimate chamber-music making, with lots of dark, burnished wood surfaces and realistic if somewhat dry acoustics when filled with people.

Descending from a nearby oak staircase was the Quartet Sine Nomine of Lausanne, Switzerland, which made an impressive debut in this series in 1992 and reconfirmed that impression in its first performance of the day (the group repeated the brief program later in the afternoon). The Haydn Opus 33, No. 5 Quartet could have easily been fluffed off as a warmup, but this Swiss foursome came charging out of the box with a vigorous, zesty first theme, everyone playing with startling unanimity, energy and ample room for expression.

*

Mendelssohn's Opus 44, No. 1 Quartet--which is a lot easier on the ears than it is for players--was even more exhilarating, if not quite as smoothly executed, with plenty of propulsion as the musicians bore down on the fast triplets in the finale. Even at high speed, the group has an accurate sense of intonation that would be the envy of some of its major-league peers--and it displays the kind of comfortably blended, intuitive interplay that comes after 18 years of maintaining a stable lineup.

Next time they pass through town, it might be interesting if the quartet gave some of the more out-of-the-way pieces in their discography a ride; one particularly intriguing item is a Piano Quintet by one Wilhelm Furtwangler (yes, the great conductor).

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|