In the middle of a two-week, 10-concert U.S. visit, Camerata Ireland showed a few signs of tour fatigue at its appearance at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Friday night. Among other things: Both the concertmaster and the principal cellist dropped their bows during the performance.
Led by its youngish founder, pianist Barry Douglas, the 37-member chamber orchestra closed its program with a spirited but unremarkable performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. A capable conductor, Douglas brought nothing new or compelling to the ubiquitous work. And the ensemble's playing -- clean and haphazard by turns -- remained undistinctive.
The rest of the evening, occupied a higher level of polish, especially at the very beginning and at the end, with two lovely encores.
The orchestra's strings excelled in two programmed lyric essays, a Nocturne (1970) by the Irish composer John Kinsella, and Elliott Carter's 1943 Elegy; lushness, articulation and seamless legato characterized these short mood pieces.