Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

MUSIC REVIEW

Energetic set at the Doheny

October 29, 2002|Richard S. Ginell | Special to The Times

Hard as it may be to believe, the Chamber Music in Historic Sites series sponsored by the Da Camera Society of Mount St. Mary's College is observing its 30th anniversary this season.

Anchoring the agenda, as always, is the series-within-the-series -- six concerts in the ornate, glass-domed Pompeian room of the Doheny mansion, where the Auryn String Quartet, from Cologne, Germany, returned for the season opener Friday night.

As in their local debut here in December 2000, the Auryn proved that it cares more for energetic, visceral pushes through the repertory than maintaining instrumental polish at any cost. This time, though, the choice of music was more predictable -- including a raw-boned, witty trip through the Haydn String Quartet, Opus 71, No. 3, that the Auryn led off with two years ago -- and the sacrifice of precision for passion didn't always pay off.

The foursome made their best showing in Dvorak's "American" Quartet, turning the lyrical second movement into a long, seamlessly flowing structure, the big tunes there and elsewhere singing out with an in-your-face, perhaps "American," feeling of brashness.

Yet Beethoven's Quartet No. 12, the entryway into the composer's then-avant-garde late quartets, was a mixed bag.

While the long, heavenly second movement opened in a marvelously hushed, meditative way and unfolded at a nice clip, the quartet's playing turned very scrappy in the final two movements, and the music lost its focus.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|