Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Hausmann Quartet at the Rex

Salons at the Rex
Wednesday, May 5, 6:30pm
Hotel Rex

Hausmann Quartet
Isaac Allen, violin
Bram Goldstein, violin
Angela Choong, viola
Yuan Zhang, cello

SCHUBERT: Quartet in C minor, D703, "Quartett-satz"
SCHUMANN: Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 41
TCHAIKOVSKY: Andante Cantabile from Quartet No. 1 in D major

At this last Rex Salon event of the season, the youthful Hausmann Quartet gave bright performances of standard works from the Romantic repertoire. There was good dynamic contrast, & they clearly differentiated the various moods of the Schumann. Violist Angela Choong played with tasteful vigor in the Presto movement. I liked the clean intonation & crisp playing of cellist Yuan Zhang. 1st violin Isaac Allen played the repeating melody of the Tchaikovsky Andante Cantabile with a sweet simplicity. Bram Goldstein is an active 2nd violinist, & all the musicians made a fair amount of eye contact with each other. Members of the quartet took turns introducing the pieces on the program. The Tchaikovsky was described as "less rabid" than the Schumann.

The violist sat in a very squeaky chair. The noise was so distracting that Sandy Wilson, of the Alexander String Quartet, brought up a sturdier & quieter perch for her immediately after the 2nd movement of the Schumann. As is usual at these concerts, a short Q & A session followed. The audience asked about the quartet's seating arrangement & the violist's unusually-shaped instrument. Everyone laughed when members of the quartet all pointed to the violist in response to a question about who decides the programs.

I was a bit sad that this was the last Salons at the Rex this season. I've really enjoyed hearing performances in this small venue. I was pleased to learn that Leah Crocetto will be appearing in this series next year.

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