http://www.burgeplantation.com/). This particular concert featured the Linden Quartet. In the Boccherini, Christopher Rex joined the Quartet to make- guess what?- a quintet. In the friendly acoustics of the Burge Conservatory, Boccherini's playfulness with thematic material was easily recognizable. The third movement, the Minuetto, Trio, is one of those very recognizable melodies that somehow resides in the cultural collective consciousness. I seem to remember it being used in a cigar commercial but I can't find any reference to it on the Web. Notwithstanding this, the Minuetto was exquisitely played. Only in the fourth movement of the Quintet did things go a bit awry. there were intonation and bowing problems, especially in the cellos. Maybe it was the oppressive heat outside.
Here is a snapshot of the Snapshot piece:
The Bolcom Rags were enjoyable. The composer takes the form of the rags from the early 20th century and twists them a bit so that they are dissonant, sometimes harsh, humorous and always rhythmic and danceable. They are modern interpretations of a 100-year old style. They are easily accessible and again they were played with perfection.
The Beethoven is one of his earlier works and reflects his experimentation with the structure that the form had taken in the hands of Haydn, for example. The second movement is a scherzo built on a fugue, in contrast to the adagio that his predecessors used. The fourth movement draws on gypsy themes and tests the mettle of the first violin, which seemed just fine for Sarah McElravy. This was another fine performance by the Linden Quartet. These musicians really put their hearts and souls (and the souls of their shoes) into their performances. This adds to the high caliber to their performances.
The Madison Chamber Music Festival, with Music Director Christopher Rex, came up with another outstanding concert. It certainly was enhanced by the surroundings. This concert also included an enjoyable reception with the musicians.
The finale of the Festival, an American Celebration, will be on July 13 at the Madison Cultural Center. David Coucheron will be a guest artist. For more information go to: http://www.mmcc-arts.org/CMF-Schedule.shtml
Thanks again to the donors who make this music available to us.