A good work for (as I’ve noted before) a challenging combination.
The really splendid piece on the program was Pavel Haas’s quintet. Haas, a Jewish composer from Czechoslovakia, died in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. This piece, written when he was about thirty, is really terrific stuff, with glimpses of Janacek, Moravian modalities and Jewish liturgical music. The third movement is hilarious, and the second is sneak-up-on-you gorgeous.
Because of various travel issues, we had to completely revise the schedule for the quintet’s visit at the last minute, so I didn’t get the opportunity to spend as much time with the musicians as I had hoped. Despite that, though, one of the highlights for me was a very pleasant 4 am chat with Carol Wincenc about quintets, Italian boys’ names that end in A, and teenagers.