Sunday, November 4, 2012

Heights Arts Close Encounters: Trout Playing In American

Schubert: Four Art Songs (Im Haine, Der Jungling an der Quelle, Ellens Gesang II, Die Forelle)
Schumann: Piano Quartet in E flat Major, Op. 47
Schumann: Four Art Songs (Widmung, Der Nussbaum, Heiss mich nicht reden, Kennst du das Land)
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 ("Trout")
Jung Oh, soprano; Sonja Braaten Molloy, violin; Mark Jackobs, viola; Charles Bernard, cello; Charles Carleton, bass; Christina Dahl, piano.
At the Rawson Cowap Residence, Shaker Heights.

Had everything gone as planned, I would have missed this afternoon's wonderful concert -- instead I would have been on a flight back from a week in New York. Though it is one of the more interesting travel stories of my career (involving a one-way flight and a one-way rental car), I'll save that for now, but needless to say -- I made it and was able to attend with  Rachel.

The musicians featured on tonight's program -- the string players all Cleveland Orchestra members -- were all new to the Heights Arts Close Encounters (House Concert) series, and it was interesting to see and hear more top musicians at the in an individual and more intimate setting than the concert hall.

The program was also an interesting mix of art songs (with soprano Jung Oh accompanied by Christina Dahl) and instrumental pieces. The concert stated with Ms Oh singing Schubert -- two love songs, a lullaby, and a cautionary tale about a trout. Rachel leaned over at the conclusion of the set noting that Ms. Oh made German sound less harsh -- and indeed, the entire set sounded sweet and rounded, unlike the harsh angular edges typically associated with German. Ms. Oh also sounded wonderfully warm and her voice amply filled the room.

The Piano Quartet covered a range of musical feelings -- from the galloping/driving feeling of the second movement scherzo to the loving and delicate andante cantabile third movement to a somewhat angry and more agitated vivace third movement.

The program concluded with the technically difficult and beautifully executed Schubert "Trout" piano quintet. I've heard the quintet before -- at a CIM recital -- but in the context of a private residence it takes on a much more intimate feeling between quintet and musicians [Without looking through my notes, I'm fairly certain this is the first time I've heard an upright bass in a house concert even if it wasn't the first time, it was a rare treat and pushed the entire ensemble even closer to the very appreciative audience.


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