Sunday, February 9, 2014

Heights Arts Close Encounters: Mary Lynch - Strings Attached

Britten: Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings, Op. 2^
Mozart:  Oboe Quartet in F Major, K. 370 *
Bolcom: Serenata Notturna (2005) ^*
(All pieces with Mary Lynch, oboe; Joanna Patterson, viola; Tanya Ell. cello. ^- Jung-Min Amy Lee, violin. *-Alicia Koelz, violin).
At the Dunham Tavern Museum, Cleveland.

This evening's concert was an interesting one -- featuring a new artist (Ms. Mary Lynch) playing an instrument that is somewhat rare in the "house concert" (or "close encounters concert") format -- the oboe. Today also started with three readings from Cleveland Heights's Poet Laureate Kathleen Cerveny, believed to be the only muncipal poet laureate in Ohio.

The musical portion of the program was fascinating representing eras as diverse as the late 1700s, early-mid 1900s and the early part of this millennium. Benjamin Britten's Phasntasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings, from 1932, was a single movement that had hints of a Pink Panther-esque "sneaking" along with liberal pizzicato in the strings and a bit of a militaristic march, particularly in Ms. Ell's cello.

Taking a step back in time, the second piece on the program was Mozart's 1781, Oboe Quartet, described by Rachel, with my concurrence, as "light" and "airy". THe third movement (Rondo-Allegro) was particularly spirited and lively, while the first was spirited.

After intermission, Ms. Lynch gave a short but extremely interesting presentation on the art of reed making -- including passing around some samples of completed reeds and the various steps involved, and graciously answering questions from the audience.

The final piece on the program was also the newest -- from 2005, thought described by the composer as "Mozartian Blues" -- and I think had the year not been attached to the piece I would have assumed it was much older. The third movement in particular (Scherzo di medianotte) struck me as a lively discussion between friends.

As always, this concert provided an excellent and intimate opportunity to hear some of Cleveland's tallented musicians preforming works that the musicians themselves selected. (For the sake of completeness, ChamberFext Cleveland's annual benefit was also this evening; were it not for impending travel and Rachel feeling a bit under the weather we would have also attended that concert.)


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