Wednesday, March 16, 2016

concert review: Paul Huang and Jessica Osborne

He: violin; she: piano. Not my usual concert-going fare, but so good I'm glad I took the tiresome ride up to the City to hear it at Herbst.

The highlight was the opener, a performance of Beethoven's quite delightful Sonata in G, Op. 30 No. 3, with crisp, clear precision from both players, followed by Stravinsky's Divertimento that was so fiercely cutting it would have made Stravinsky's, let alone Beethoven's, hair stand on end.

I'm not sure if Arvo Pärt's exceedingly still and pensive Fratres was a good choice for performers with such an edge-of-your-seat style, but they played it well, as they did the soppier and wetter Saint-Saëns Sonata in D minor, Op. 75, a work of more skill than inspiration.

The Saint-Saëns ended the concert with blazing speed, and the audience erupted. As has become typical at concerts with encores, the performers deliberately damped down the enthusiasm with a quiet and slow encore - in this case, an arrangement of Schumann's "Träumerei" - so that they could get out of there.

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