Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chamber Music in Rocky River 5 May 2008

(OK, I had no business reviewing a classical concert. However, the pr person for the quartet was so persistent, and nice, that I figured what the heck. It turned out to be an enjoyable evening and I am glad I went)

Hakan Rosenberg, clarinet, and the Chiara String Quartet
5 May 2008
Presented by the Rocky River Chamber Music Society at the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church

It was an enjoyable evening of chamber music as clarinetist Hakan Rosengren and the Chiara String Quartet played to a receptive audience at the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River last Monday. As part of the Monday Evening Concert Series put on by the Rocky River Chamber Music Society, Rosengren and the quartet performed two pieces together, with the quartet tackling a challenging piece by Beethoven on its own.
The evening started with “Quintet for clarinet and strings in A major,” K 581, by Mozart, a piece that contains bits and pieces of melodies familiar to even the non classical listeners in the audience. The half hour long selection featured solos by each performer and several duels between the horn and the strings. Rosenberg stepped aside and let the quartet tackle a difficult piece by Beethoven, “Grosse Fuge in B flat major for strings,” op. 133. Different from the other two selections which had all instruments working together for the most part, this piece featured much dissonance and conflict amongst the four strings. An audience member behind me stated afterward, “It sounded like four people arguing.” Rosenberg rejoined the stage for the third piece, “Quintet for clarinet and strings in B minor,” op. 115, another selection filled with familiar melodies by Brahms. The strings and the horn complimented each other in a series of movements which included several sweet love song melodies.
The Monday Evening Concert Series at the church will pick up again in the fall with the String Trio of New York performing on October 6. For more information about the series contact the church at 440.333.2255. Hakan Rosenberg hails from Sweden, and the Chiara String Quartet are currently artists-in-residence at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. For more information visit www.hakanrosenberg.com or www.chiaraquartet.net.
As one who usually goes to jazz and rock shows and does not have a big classic music background, I can honestly say that the evening was quite enjoyable. Hearing these great musicians play in person really brought life to the music, and when it was all said and done, it was another enjoyable night of live music in our great live music town.