Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Classical at the Freight

Classical at the Freight: Mozart's Birthday
Monday, January 25, 8:00 pm
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse

San Francisco Chamber Orchestra All-Stars
Eugene Sor & Garrett McLean, violin
Benjamin Simon & Darcy Rindt, viola
Kris Yenney, cello
Alicia Telford, French horn

Mozart, Horn Quintet in E flat major, K 407
Mozart, String Quintet in E flat major, K 614

freight and salvage hand stampMonday night I attended this breezy Mozart-themed event, which is part of a once-a-month classical music night at the Freight & Salvage. There seems to be a solid audience of regulars at these concerts. Violist Benjamin Simon came on stage dressed in a t-shirt & a messy 18th century wig. He acted as host for the evening, introducing the program & the players with light & humorous banter.

Attending the performance was like sitting in on a chamber music party. I liked the tempos for the Horn Quintet, which were not too fast. Alicia Telford's mellow horn sound combined well with the string players. As a joke, she stood up during one of her solos. After the 1st movement, Mr. Simon told us they wouldn't mind if we applauded between movements, & the audience did just that for the entire program. Halfway through the final movement of the String Quintet, I thought they had switched to the Grosse Fuge, but instead the ensemble had become derailed during a rapid fugal passage. Mr. Simon raised his bow to stop them, & 1st violinst Eugene Sor smoothly restarted.

During the break between pieces, Mr. Simon subjected a member of the audience to a Mozart trivia quiz which included a question containing bizarre Glenn Gould quotes disparaging the composer. All this friendly chat with the audience made the event feel like a radio show.

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