Sunday, May 6, 2012

Heights Arts House Concert: 3Bs - Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok

Beethoven: String Quartet in G Major, Op. 18 No. 2
Bartok: Thrid String Quartet (1927)
Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115
The Omni Quartet (Jung-Min Amy Lee, Alicia Koelz, violins; Joana Patterson, viola, Tanya Ell, cello) with Robert Woolfrey, clarinet)
At the Maron Penthouse, Downtown Cleveland.

The first Heights Arts house concert I attended was in the Maron's spectacular downtown Cleveland penthouse and it was a real treat to be back (this time also having the privilege of Ms. Maron showing Rachel and I through their beautiful home prior to the concert).

Having received some unfortunate financial news earlier today -- there may or may not be a separate post on that down the road -- I wasn't in the highest of spirits going in to this evening's concert but nonetheless, this concert, performed entirely by members of the Cleveland Orchestra (some of whom had played a concert at Severance earlier today) was the most enjoyable of recent memory.

The Beethoven String Quartet kicked the concert off to a lively start as the sun started to descend over the beautiful Cleveland skyline behind the musicians. The second movement turned more introspective with in the second movement before hitting a minor but unified celebration. Near the end of the piece I had the vision of the orchestra as a band of fellows kicking a rock down a dusty road as the same general motif bounced from instrument to instrument.

Taking a dramatic change of period, the second piece on the program was Bela Bartok's Third String Quartet which Ms. Ell provided a very engaging introduction for highlighting some of the things to listen for in the fifteen minute piece whos movements were played without pause. Starting with something bleak, and almost depressingly lonely (Ms. Ell related it to the Cleveland winter, but it seemed even more desolate and lonely than that to me) with a bit of anger before coming in to a eerie folksong with some eerie undertones -- perhaps indicative of angry spirits. The piece also featured some unusual instructions including col lengo -- where the stick [wood] of the bow is used to hit the strings rather than the bowhair.

Brahms Clarinet Quintet was passionately sweet with Mr. Woolfrey's clarinet seeming to take the place of a longing lover while the ensemble seemed to the the hero or heroine moments away from taking his or her own life. The second movement continued this impression with an compellingly anguished sound, while the third movement -- lead by the clarinet -- was more moving and showed a restoral of hope while the piece concluded with a passionate, longing and almost remorseful fourth movement.

But neither Rachel nor I had any remorse about attending this evening's concert.


No comments:

Post a Comment