Philadelphia classical music events, discussion, and directory
This past Friday and Monday evenings, Curtis offered two more sensational recitals. We begin to run out of adjectives with these kids.
Two pieces of chamber music for winds were offered: on Friday night, Samuel Barber's Summer Music for woodwind flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn; and on Monday night Francis Poulenc's Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano. Barber's music dripped with humidity yet showed flights of fancy characteristic of sultry summer evenings. Poulenc was as Poulenc always is, bright, funny, quirky, unpredictable, yet always listenable and thought provoking. Light but weighty at the same time. These performances should put to rest forever the myth that winds cannot play in tune. Curtis always has great wind players. It is a little off-putting to watch some of them dump their saliva out on the floor periodically.
For me the high point of Monday evening was Mozart's F major String Quartet, K. 590. A first year student played first violin, Luosha Fang, with three advanced players. Believe me, you won't hear better Mozart playing that what came off her violin. That quartet would be ferociously difficult if only for the extensive unison passages, which they played perfectly, and the soaring solo passages which were absolutely wonderful. It is a slow movement to kill for. Once and see Mozart himself playing the viola part--it's a part no violist worth his or her salt wouldn't kill for. It sent me home walking on air.
These performances can't help but take my breath away, even when I don't like the music they're playing.
Recitals continue tonight which includes music by Brahms, Debussy, Tournier, Haydn, Mozart's C major String Quartet, K. 465 "Dissonance." It's only the afternoon-you still have time to make it.