I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Shanghai Quartet in Concert

This past week I travelled to the University of Richmond to hear the Shanghai Quartet perform works by Mozart, Ligeti, and Dvorak. The Mozart work was late (1790-1), and was one that I did not have regular familiarity. It was well played, but later hearing the group on more grueling material, I felt they might have injected a little more dynamics into the Mozart. This is my time really hearing the Shanghai quartet. Each of the players has a personality that stuck throughout the evening's concert. The most expressive player is V1, while V2 is the least expressive. The cellist is the most facially interesting as he plays, and the viola, he's the most animated during applause, but plays with the most straight of backs and is a little stiff. Of course none of this matters; it's the sound and emotion that make us love or hate the experience. I was unfamiliar with the Ligeti work, and found many instances where the composition went wrong. The performance, though, was convincing, and well-done. It was quite a contrast with Mozart, and was well-received by the audience. Powerful sound, for sure. The Dvorak was the crowd-pleaser. Having been written at the start of Antonin's deparure from America, it had one thinking about journey. The Shanghai felt, I gather, most at home here, making the most out of this work, with the widest range of dynamic and emotional contrasts. They were "warmed up," and the last of this work gave them all a workout with fleeting notes. I typically go to concerts to hear one or more works on the program. This was unique, I guess for me, going for the ensemble over the music. While the vibrato used in the Mozart was at times making me wince (it's a personal issue, I know), I found the whole experience musically satisfying.

Amazon MP3 Service

Great Bach