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23.2.09

On the Radio

Tune your radio dial to 90.9 FM on Mondays at 9 pm to hear Front Row Washington, broadcasts of recent concerts in the area's concert halls. Here is the program of this evening's installment:

February 23, 9 pm
Musicians from Marlboro I
Freer Gallery of Art

Janáček, String Quartet No. 1 ("Kreutzer Sonata")
Mozart, String Quintet in E-flat Major, K. 614
Mendelssohn, Octet in E-flat Major, op. 20

A snippet of what to expect from someone who was there:

The annual “Musicians from Marlboro” concerts at the Freer Gallery are among the most invigorating events of the classical season. Dozens of astoundingly gifted young virtuosos, all hand-picked from the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, blow into the gallery’s Meyer Auditorium every winter for three performances that radiate vitality and freshness – qualities sometimes missing from their more seasoned elders.

And so it was on Wednesday night, when the first installment of Marlborians opened the series with Leos Janacek’s String Quartet No. 1 ("Kreutzer Sonata"). It’s an almost brutally passionate work that, played well, will take the skin off your ears, and the players turned in a suitably hot-blooded performance. It was, perhaps, a bit too hot-blooded at times -- its emotions spelled out in capital letters, then underlined, then italicized. But even if the excesses swept away the subtleties here and there, this was playing of daring, conviction and real insight. You could do worse.
Stephen Brookes, Musicians from Marlboro at the Freer (Most of the Shebang, December 12, 2008)

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