Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cervantino Day 10: Musical Doubleheader - Endellion String Quartet at the Minas, Ravel & Stravinsky at the Juarez

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FIC41 photo by Claudia Reyes

I wouldn't ordinarily go first to a chamber music concert and then later that evening to another featuring Mexico's National Symphony but that's the way the Cervantino plays out sometimes. Or maybe I just don't like making decisions.

I'm glad I did go to both. Britain's Endellion Quartet started with Haydn's beautiful Quartet #42, went on to the quartet Benjamin Britten composed during World War II when he was thirty-something and finished with Schubert's Death and the Maiden quartet. To think that Schubert left us so many beloved pieces before he died at age 31. If ever there was an unfinished life, it was Schubert's. The Britten didn't go down well with a Prepa student and a mathematician I talked with, but I liked it, maybe because I knew of its background.

Pleased conductor surrounded by musicians after Stravinsky's strenuous work
At the Juarez, I thought the big event would be Stravinksy's Rite of Spring, played to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the work's first performance, but hearing pianist Pascal Roge (accented on the last syllable) play the second movement of the Ravel Concerto in G was a new and indelible experience for me; so was the middle movement of the Ravel Sonatina Roge played as an encore for the enthusiastic audience. Then--what a dramatic end to the evening-- hearing the National Symphony perform the Rite of Spring in perfect synch under Juan Carlos Prieto. He and the musicians were mopping their brows after they finished. Although the string players show in this FIC$! photo also by Claudia Reyes, Stravinksy's work depended more on percussion, brasses and woodwinds .  .