Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chamber Music Day

Chamber Music Day
Live + Free
September 26, 2009 12:30 - 8pm
Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street

I dropped in for about 2 hours of this free chamber music marathon. By necessity, the selections are shorter pieces or single movements, but it's a nice way for local ensembles to get additional exposure. The event was well-attended. Musicians & well-behaved audience members moved in & out efficiently between sets. The overall impression was of musical pleasantness.

I got to hear Sarah Cahill pound out forearm clusters in the rhythmically tricky Exultation by Henry Cowell. She also accompanied violinist Kate Sternberg in an evocative piece by Somei Satoh called Birds Warped Time II, which begins with a slow, ear-catching slide on the violin. The Nice Guy Trio played a mellow sort of jazz which was good-natured but seemed to have only one mood. The Picasso Quartet played single movements from quartets by Mendelssohn, David Garner & Ravel with much spirit. The Del Sol String Quartet performed pretty excerpts from their program of contemporary Latina composers. A trio from the Left Coast Ensemble gave a well-prepared performance of the tiny but explosive Bagatelles Op. 14d by György Kurtág. It was certainly the most startling music I heard that afternoon.

On my arrival, I unexpectedly ran into a musical friend who was perhaps checking out the competition. Later in the evening he made the thought-provoking suggestion that Stendhal, with his self-centered reporting style, was a blogger.

No comments: