FORT Worthy of — The Mimir Chamber New music Festival, held every summer season at Texas Christian University, has reliably provided imaginative packages and frequently wonderful performances.
Back just after a two-12 months COVID-19 hiatus, Mimir is a concentrated two-7 days system for budding chamber audio ensembles, which complete public live shows. The festival’s school users, drawn from significant orchestras and conservatories — this calendar year also such as an recognized string quartet and piano trio — current concerts, also.
4 of this year’s 6 school systems included functions by female composers of the 20th and 21st hundreds of years. A Piano Trio by Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979), a British indigenous who settled in the U.S., opened the Wednesday night program at PepsiCo Recital Hall.
Adult men were being represented by the darkly intensive Piano Quintet of Russian composer Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) and, in the concert’s second 50 percent, the 1st of Brahms’ Op. 51 String Quartets, in C slight.
The Clarke piece, courting from 1921, is a do the job of considerably much more creativeness than you may possibly hope from a conservatively qualified composer born in Victorian England. An explosive opening is countered by a much more sensuous second area whose forebears incorporate Fauré, Debussy and Ravel. (French songs was pretty influential in England in the second decade of the 20th century.)
Muted strings give the central movement a wispy, dreamy character. The finale is a feisty dance that adds enthusiasm to mischief.
The Horszowski Trio (violinist Jesse Mills, cellist Ole Akahoshi and pianist Rieko Aizawa) gave an intensely fully commited effectiveness, marred only by Aizawa’s extremely aggressive and steely fortissimos.
Mimir regulars Stephen Rose and Jun Iwasaki (violins), Joan DerHovsepian (viola), Brant Taylor (cello) and John Novacek (piano) designed the Schnittke a gripping encounter, emotionally as properly as sonically. Penned involving 1972 and 1976, in response to the specially tragic dying of the composer’s mom, the five actions feel to shuffle and layer levels of grief.
Ferocious protests blend with keening and buzzing string trills. Dissonant crunches and washes are intensified by string microtones, pitches between typical notes. The piano often looks to grope in the sonic darkness for some feeling of purchase, at times contrasting dings at the top of the keyboard and tollings at the base. The beginnings of a waltz and the piano’s passing recommendation of a person of Rachmaninoff’s Études-Tableaux trace of happier periods.
This is not quick listening by any means, but to listen to this performance was to know the work’s wrenching honesty. The knowledge was improved by Novacek’s beneficial introductory feedback.
For my dollars, Brahms’ string quartets are his minimum convincing chamber audio operates. They seem to strain at the richer textures of the glorious quintets and sextets, but without the need of comparable thematic attractiveness.
Rose, Mimir director Curt Thompson (participating in second violin), DerHovsepian and Taylor, specialist musicians all, gave a committed, accomplished general performance. Violin intonation wasn’t usually exact, even though, and DerHovsepian’s huge-toned viola someday caught out extra than it ought to have. Taylor again proved the most exquisite of chamber songs cellists, his tone often refined, his contributions usually woven just so into Brahms’ wealthy textures textures and harmonies.