ASO: Robert Spano with Johannes Moser

Thursday’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert was proceeded by a chamber recital featuring three pieces. First was Shostakovich’s Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano. It’s a good set of pieces and it was played well enough, though I found nothing exciting or exceptional about either the works nor the performance. The next piece featured the first three movements from Smetana’s String Quartet no. 1 with the order of the second and third transposed. This was performed by the Peachtree String Quartet. It’s a good piece but I found the performance a little weak around the parts that required slow and quiet playing. In particular, I felt that the second violin failed to maintain a good sound with his bow wandering up and down the strings. In terms of musicianship, I felt that the final piece was the best played and I ended up enjoying it the most of the three. Arthur Berg’s Woodwind Quartet in C Major came across as particularly upbeat following the Smetana; even the adante middle movement was kind of uplifting. I found myself feeling like it was a delightful shelf upon which to rest my mind while waiting for the orchestra to begin playing the main program for the evening.
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