Sunday, September 19, 2010

CIM Faculty Recital: Kantor/Ramsey/Geber/Weckstrom

Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 23
Schubert: String Trio in B flat Major, D. 471
Penderecki: String Trio (1990-91)
Faure: Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 14
Paul Kantor, violin; Lynne Ramsey, viola; Stephen Geber, cello; Virginia Weckstrom, piano.

Following my visit to the Cleveland Museum of Art in Part I of this afternoon, I moved my car over to the CIM lot and picked up the seating passes I had reserved -- as it turns out that was a good call for a sold-out(reserved-out?) performance. Having not had lunch, while waiting for the doors to open I found what may be the best stocked vending alley I've seen in a while and had a reasonably good and inexpensive (as far as shrink-wrapped food goes) Italian sub and soda.

With the nearly-endless buffet of music CIM offers to the community it only stands to reason that some concerts or recitals will move the audience more than others. I hate to say it, but I wasn't moved my any of the pieces on the program: They were all well played, without a doubt, and the variety was impressive, but that je ne sais quois feeling didn't hit me. You'll note though that I don't use the word unfortunately as there is nothing unfortunate about it: You have to try a piece before you know its not for you.

Beethoven's Violin Sonata opened with a bold, almost startling attack in the first movement, transitioned into a loving second movement and ended on a lovingly playful transitioning into energetic third movement.

Schubert's String Trio was pleasant to listen to and was possibly the shortest of his pieces that I've heard; while I've noted a sense of rigorous repetition with some of this other works, that sensation didn't strike me here.

The other String Trio, by Pendrecki, the only modern composer on the program, opened with a bold staccato attack (which made several appearances throughout the piece) contrasted immediately by a beautiful viola solo played by Ms. Ramsey. The pieces gave me a distinct air of mystery, like walking down a dark and deserted hallway wondering what would be found at the end.

A significant portion of the audience disappeared following intermission, which was a shame as Gabriel Faure's Piano Quartet received the most enthusiastic response from the audience. The first three movements alternated between somber and playful with the allegro probably being my favorite from the afternoon by a hair. The third movement adagio struck me as nostalgic--an emotion that doesn't often occur to me while listening to instrumental music. In the final movement, the clear, rich tones of Mr. Gerber's cello were amazing--and a good way to end the recital. I probably could have spent a good hour just listening to those few lines.



  1. I really wanted to be there, but just had too much to do this afternoon. I am a fan of all those musicians, but would have loved to see Stephen Geber play.

    Fun Fact: He was the longest running principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra before he retired!

  2. Wow... I didn't realize he was longest running. The tenure of some of TCO musicians is amazing--to play at such a high level for such a long period of time...