There were no creampuffs in the March 27 program of quartets by Beethoven (Opus 127), Fauré (Opus 121) and Thomas Oboe Lee’s Morango – Almost a Tango by the Lydian String Quartet – Daniel Stepner and Judith Eissenberg, violins, Mary Ruth Ray, viola, and Joshua Gordon, cello – at the Kalliroscope Gallery in Groton (MA). Each poses its own set of styles and challenges, from the fiercely virtuosic to the intonationally and rhythmically demanding.
The opening chords of the Beethoven Quartet in E flat, Op. 127 were robust and sonorous, and the lyric sections of the Adagio were tenderly romantic above the staccato accompaniment. The players guided the energy of the outer movements, rather than letting it drive them, while pulling the many thematic elements lines and into a cohesive whole.
Gabriel Fauré’s E minor Quartet, Op. 121 is perhaps less distinctive and certainly less popular than his piano quartets. The Lydians’ job here was to bring forth its lyric qualities and weave its polyphony to maximize its musical intent for the audience, which they excelled in doing.
Thomas Oboe Lee’s Morango – Almost a Tango was a great concluding work, especially in the hands of the four Lydians. [Click title for full review.]
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