Friday, March 27, 2009

Chancellor's Concert Series

Chancellor's Concert Series
Date: 3/26/09
Time: 12noon-1pm
Location: Cole Hall, 513 Parnassus Avenue

Laurel Ensemble
Ann Lavin, clarinet
Jenny Douglass, viola
Christina Mok, violin
Krisanthy Desby, cello
Lori Lack, piano

Rebecca Clarke
Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale for Clarinet and Viola

Jennifer Higdon
Piano Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano
1. Pale Yellow
2. Fiery Red

The atmosphere for these concerts is a bit arid, given the sparseness & the relative old age of the audience, but I find the format, programming & level of playing to be quite good. Members of the Laurel Ensemble gave very pleasing performances this afternoon. The Clarke piece, in movements that went slow-fast-slow, definitely put me in mind of a bucolic & peaceful English countryside. The piece is a bit doleful.

I came specifically to hear the Higdon piece & enjoyed it very much. It's in 2 contrasting movements, the 1st moody & contemplative, the second fast-moving & energetic. Rather strikingly, the violinist was dressed in red, the cellist in yellow & the pianist in blue. They were very much an ensemble of equals. Violinist Christina Mok's playing is especially clear.

Each of these programs begins with a brief poetry reading. Today we heard a selection of haiku by Basho, including this one:

Year after year
on the monkey's face
a monkey face

I was dismayed by how much this spoke to me.

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