Brooklyn Rider rivets attention at Rockport

01.27.17
Brooklyn Rider
Boston Globe

Walking through Rockport on a winter night, golden lights shine outside quaint shops, none of which are open. Wood smoke’s pungent sweetness floods the senses. On Main Street by the water, the roar and crash of the sea can be heard, the rare whoosh of a passing car melding indiscernibly with the natural sound. It seems a scene removed from time. 

In the Shalin Liu Performance Center, against a backdrop of the dark water, the string quartet Brooklyn Rider (Johnny Gandelsman, violin; Colin Jacobsen, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola; Michael Nicolas, cello) performed Wednesday night. The four had worked in the past few days with young musicians from the Rockport schools, and many were present in the audience.
  
Each phrase of Philip Glass’s String Quartet No. 3, “Mishima,” rolled and receded in a swell of sound. Four large window panes made up most of the rear wall behind the musicians, and just as it was possible to focus attention through a single pane or all four at once to see the larger vista, it was possible to either follow a single instrument’s journey or sit back to take in the quartet’s full sound. The “Mishima” quartet is adapted from Glass’s score to the 1985 film of the same name, and Brooklyn Rider’s rendition was a slice of slow-burning drama until the overlong final movement, which not even these keen musicians could save from somnolence.
 
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