January 15, 2012, Town Hall, Seattle
|The Onyx Chamber Players: |
Meg Brennand, David White, James Garlick
Braving the snow and bridging the centuries with Schumann and Brahms
On Sunday night, January 15, 2012, with snow blanketing Capitol Hill in Seattle, a small but dedicated Town Hall audience was rewarded with a sparkling concert by the Onyx Chamber Players, Seattle's best-kept chamber music secret. Following the group's outstanding October concert of trios by Mozart, Debussy, and Shostakovich, Sunday's pairing of Schumann's 1842 Piano Quartet in E-flat with Brahms' Quartet in A, composed two decades later and five years after Schumann's tragically early death, was a fascinating musical and psychological study of the two composers.
|Guest violist Melvin Butler|
The blazing finale, which echoes the quartet's "Finlandia"-like opening theme with an abbreviated three-note motif, achieved an intensity of emotion and energy spearheaded by James Garlick's ever-charming bravura and David White's unflagging piano work. The resounding finish brought closure to the work's battling elements, no easy task for a composition which, as Meg Brennand noted after the concert, struggles to "rise from the page," requiring an intuitive reach beyond the notes themselves to kindle Schumann's conflicted and fiery spirit.
Several opportunities remain to hear Onyx Chamber Players before the end of the season. A reprise of the Schumann-Brahms program is offered on February 25th at the Battelle Auditorium in Richland, WA, as part of the Camerata Music Series, and their annual all-Beethoven concert, March 18 at Town Hall, is always a delight. The final concert of the year, June 24th at Town Hall, will feature music from America and the British Isles.
Next in Seattle:
Annual all-Beethoven concert, Sunday, March 18th, 2011 at 7:00pm - Downstairs at Town Hall Seattle -- 1119 Eighth Avenue, Seattle, WA
"Kommt mal, wer noch hört!"