Saturday, July 23, 2016

Menlo, part 2

Well, part 1, actually, because the first thing I did at the festival was attend the Prelude and first main concert last Saturday, and then write this review of them.

Then I went to the the talk on Rostropovich I already wrote about on Tuesday, then to a master class and main concert on Wednesday, the review of which probably won't be up until Monday.

Yesterday I attended another master class, specifically because this one was being taught by the violinist I will be hearing on Sunday's concert, which I'm also reviewing. Having already been impressed by the Arensky piano trio I'd heard on Wednesday, I was even more attracted by the first movement of a string quartet by him that was one of the master class subjects. It's an unusual string quartet, having one violin instead of two, a viola, and two cellos instead of one, giving it a dark sound all the more appropriate for the opening section which channeled a Russian Orthodox choral hymn. Anton Arensky: not a composer I'd previously paid much attention to, I'm counting him as the big win from this year's festival. After that we moved onto another group doing the finale of Brahms' Piano Quintet, and the half hour of discussion was devoted entirely to the brief slow introduction. You could go on for hours like this.

This morning I find an e-mail from the festival's publicity officer beseeching me to attend tonight's concert too. Well, um, I had something I was going to do, but I didn't make any commitment, so, uh, OK, I'll go.

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