« Anne-Sophie Mutter, Reluctant Goddess | Main | A Bare-bones "Orlando" from the Washington Concert Opera »

Marlboros at the Freer; Bill Frisell tonight!

November 17, 2006

The guitarist Bill Frisell is as amazing as he is uncategorizable -- one of the most consistently inventive musicians anywhere.  He's coming to Lisner Auditorium tonight at 8 pm, and is definitely worth checking out if you can. (Richard Harrington has a good preview in the Post today.)

Ieva Jokubaviciute
It's always a treat to hear pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute play; she was here back in May with Musicians From Marlboro, and appeared with them again on Wednesday at the Freer Gallery, as part of the Bill and Mary Meyer Concert Series.  Frustrating to only hear her in an accompanist role, though.  Here's the review:

The Washington Post 11/17/06: 

Ludwig van Beethoven was not, so far as we know, really a fun guy. But he did loosen his trademark cravat a bit in mid-career to write nearly 200 settings of folk songs, and while the results aren't pure gold (one critic calls them "the hack work of a genius"), they're playful, a bit quirky and actually kind of fun.

The fine young mezzo Tamara Mumford opened Wednesday night's Musicians From Marlboro concert at the Freer Gallery with six of the songs, and while she has a strong voice with an appealing bite to it, she sounded tense and rather formal, despite crisp, playful accompaniment by Lily Francis on violin, Marcy Rosen on cello and the always amazing Ieva Jokubaviciute at the piano.

The program moved into infinitely deeper waters with a vivid account of Bela Bartok's wondrous String Quartet No. 4, in which Francis and Rosen were joined by Yura Lee on violin and Eric Nowlin on viola. At first it felt like the players were in over their heads -- the brusque, take-no-prisoners Allegro that opens the work felt timid and woefully domesticated -- but they rallied well and played the rest of the piece with imagination and impressive technical skill.

Mumford returned to the stage with Brahms's much-loved "Zwei Gesange," Op. 91. The first song felt cast in concrete and promptly sank, but the second was everything you want in Brahms: luminous, warm, simultaneously full-blooded and absolutely weightless; a beautiful account. Violist Katie Kadarauch then joined the string players for a very robust account of Mozart's Quintet in D, K. 593 -- more muscular than Mozart is usually played, but brought off with conviction and sweeping power.


Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 at 10:48AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.