Recent News
12.07.18
JoAnn Falletta, Mariss Jansons, David Alan Miller, Peter Oundjian, Patrick Summers, Alexandre Tharaud, Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider , Mason Bates, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Academy of St Martin in the Fields , Les Violons du Roy , Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nathan Gunn
2019 Grammy Nominees
Grammy Awards
12.07.18
New York Philharmonic String Quartet , Yefim Bronfman
Bronfman, NY Philharmonic Quartet impress at Linton Series
Cincinnati Business Courier
12.06.18
Julian Wachner
This Is the Best ‘Messiah’ in New York
The New York Times
12.04.18
Sir Andrew Davis
ELGAR The Music Makers. The Spirit of England (Davis)
Gramophone
12.03.18
Chanticleer
Chanticleer Christmas concert, 11/30/18
Divamensch
12.01.18
Ward Stare
Twin pianists deliver impeccable style in ‘Perfect Pairs’ concert
Sarasota Herald Tribune
11.27.18
Richard Kaufman
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA HAUNTS THE SOROYA IN REAL TIME
Broadway World
11.26.18
Twyla Tharp Dance
Dreaming of Dancing With Twyla Tharp
Next Avenue
11.19.18
Twyla Tharp Dance
‘Minimalism and Me’ Review: Twyla Tharp Tells Her Story
Wall Street Journal
11.19.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Audiences get whirlwind musical tour as Vienna Boys' Choir performs at Ent Center
Colorado Springs Gazette

News archive »

Selections by the French, From Tortured to Carefree

05.20.12
Inon Barnatan
The New York Times

By Vivien Schweitzer

Saint-Saëns and Chausson on Lincoln Center Program

The French composer Ernest Chausson was puzzled by his bouts of depression, which occurred despite a seemingly charmed life that included a contented marriage, children, good health and an inherited wealth that allowed him to compose at leisure. But while he didn’t suffer the financial woes and chaos that often plague artistic careers, what he described as his “wretched, uneasy and violent brain” led him to write melancholy, tortured music.

A sense of despair certainly pervades the Grave movement of Chausson’s Concerto in D for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, which received a full-blooded, inspired performance from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in the last program of its season on Friday evening at Alice Tully Hall. Chausson, sometimes accused of having been an amateur composer, since he didn’t earn (or need to earn) a living writing music, enjoyed a major success and fleeting happiness with the premiere of this work in 1892.

The pianist booked for that premiere declined because of the score’s difficulty. But on Friday the excellent pianist Inon Barnatan sailed through the challenging passages with flair, playing with poise, passion and a beautiful sound, beginning with his pearly tone in the rippling arpeggios of the opening movement.

His colleagues — the violinist Elmar Oliveira in the solo part; Jessica Lee and Kristin Lee, violinists in the quartet; Beth Guterman, violist; and Andreas Brantelid, cellist — also played with polish and commitment in the unusually constructed work, part chamber music and part double concerto.

There is no sense of a tortured soul in Saint-Saëns’s Piano Trio No. 1 in F, which opened the program. Saint-Saëns is thought to have composed the work on a holiday in the Pyrenees, and his biographer, the Irish musicologist Arthur Hervey, described it as “the evident outcome of youthful spontaneity, suggesting the lightheartedness of one who has for the time being thrown cares to the wind.” 

The genial nature of this melodious, sensually scored trio was elegantly revealed in a passionate interpretation by the pianist Juho Pohjonen, Jessica Lee and Mr. Brantelid. This was the first time the Chamber Music Society has presented the work.

Saint-Saëns’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor is darker hued; French Romanticism at its lushest. Mr. Pohjonen and Mr. Oliveira dexterously navigated both its bravura challenges and its more intimate moments.