The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 14, 2003


Concert Review: Clarinetist, cellist, pianist give fine performance

On Sunday, February 10, at the Concord Academy Performing Arts Center, the Concord Chamber Music Society (CCMS) presented a concert featuring three musicians, all at the top of their profession. When attending a concert by such renowned performers clarinetist Thomas Martin of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; cellist Michael Reynolds, a founder of the Muir String Quartette; and pianist Robert Merfield, a founder of the Apple Hill Chamber Players the listener expects that all the notes will be played correctly, the composers' intentions will be carried out precisely, and the experience of hearing familiar and unfamiliar pieces will be uplifting. All of these expectations were met, and more.

The program featured three late 19th century romantic pieces John Knowles Paine's Romanza and Humoreske, Op. 30, Robert Schumann's Three Romances for Clarinet and Piano, Johannes Brahms' Trio in A minor, Op. 114and the 1915 Sonata for Cello and Piano by Claude Debussy. In the pre-concert lecture, a regular feature of CCMS concerts,well-known musicologist Steven Ledbetter had pointed out the contrast between the flowing and lyrical character of the romantic pieces, and the almost surrealistic combinations and special effects of the Debussy, written in the midst of World War I. The virtuosity of the performers, individually and in ensemble, brought these features forth in utmost clarity.

A special pleasure for us was observing the interaction and good feelings among the musicians as they joyfully made their way together through the wonderful program. The best performances of chamber music take advantage of the proximity and intimacy of the setting. This concert provided the highest example of how such synergy creates virtuoso performances. The enthusiastic audience responded with much applause and a standing ovation.

Wendy Putnam of Carlisle, violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is founder and director of The Concord Chamber Music Society. The next CCMS concert, at Concord Academy on April 6, will feature Distinguished Artist violinist Corey Cerovsek.

A family concert of musical jokes and fun is scheduled at 51 Walden in Concord for Sunday, June 1.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito