May 5, 1987 |
The Sequoia String Quartet & Friends season at the Japan America Theatre ended triumphantly-- and somewhat sadly--on Sunday afternoon. The triumph was one of performing style over musical content: a magnificent reading of Elgar's bloated A-minor Piano Quintet. It was hardly coincidental that the Sequoians' collaborator in Elgar was the most steadfast of its "friends," pianist Richard Goode, whose presence over the years has consistently brought out the best in the ensemble.
November 3, 1990 |
The Southwest Chamber Music Society apparently doesn't want to know about the word routine. That was the impression left by its refreshingly eclectic program Thursday night in Chapman College's Salmon Recital Hall (and repeated Friday at the Pasadena Library). Unusual instrumental combinations dominated this outing, beginning with Max Reger's delightful Serenade for flute, violin and viola, Opus 141a, a dashing, rambunctious, richly harmonized piece that ought to be better known.
December 20, 1987 |
'I can make any student violin sound like a Stradivarius.' --Alfredo Galea Alfredo Galea has a subversive idea. In the world of violins, he says, older is not necessarily better. When one listens to a truly great instrument, he says, "what they hear is . . . not the age" but the varnish. It is a simple concept, yet one that has made the spectacled, balding gentleman a controversial figure among area musicians and the recipient of both lavish praise and bitter scorn.
September 19, 1992 |
Enthusiasm can make up for much in a faulty musical performance, but it cannot make those faults disappear. Thursday night's season-opening program of the Southwest Chamber Music Society was delivered, as is usual for this ensemble, with obvious and visceral enthusiasm. There seems never a dull moment with this always-adventuresome group, now in its sixth season. But in this concert at Chapman University in Orange, the rough edges were more apparent, and irksome, than usual.
December 1, 1990 |
In 1976, Luigi Nono wrote a funereal work prompted by a series of deaths that had swept his family and that of his friend, pianist Maurizio Pollini. Thursday night, at Salmon Recital Hall on the campus of Chapman College, the Southwest Chamber Music Society offered " . . . sofferte onde serene . . . " as a tribute to its composer, who died last May.
October 5, 1991 |
Gyorgy Ligeti's Trio ("Hommage a Brahms") for horn, violin and piano served as the emotionally wrenching core of a program that opened the Southwest Chamber Music Society's fifth season Thursday at Bertea Hall at Chapman University. Even without the helpful introductory comments by Jeff von der Schmidt, horn player and artistic director of the society, the impact of this work, composed in 1982, surely would have been felt.
June 14, 1988 |
A number of nervous moments marked the first half of the final concert at the Corona del Mar Baroque Festival. By intermission, the worst was over, and the second half went smoothly. More than smoothly, splendidly.
November 15, 1988 |
You've heard the one about the silk purse and the sow's ear. Sunday afternoon, Ami Porat and the strings of the Mozart Camerata neatly transformed the decidedly non-glamorous auditorium at Santa Ana High School from the latter into the former. These accomplished musicians vanquished negative effects of unlikely surroundings and attendant acoustical anomalies via the most straightforward means: glowing, stylistically elegant, splendidly accurate playing from first note to last.