Read my review published at the Washington Post Web site:
Charles T. Downey, In performance: Parker Quartet
Washington Post, December 8, 2010
Parker Quartet, with Kim Kashkashian (viola)
On Sunday evening at Rockville’s Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, the Parker Quartet polished its growing reputation for chiseled technique in modern repertoire. Formed in 2002, this young foursome has already enjoyed a decorated career, most recently receiving the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America.
Ligeti, String Quartets 1/2
Dissonant contemporary music prompted the group’s best playing, in keeping with their well-received recording of the Ligeti string quartets, released by Naxos last year. (Ligeti was the best part of their October concert at the Freer, as was a Kurtág quartet on their 2008 concert at the Library of Congress.) This time it was Hindemith’s fourth string quartet, in which the musicians soared on the fugal theme of the first movement and snarled over the hammered rhythms of the second. Each player had a suave solo turn in the muted serenade of the third movement, with only the wild keening of the fourth sending the ensemble’s wheels somewhat off the track. Haydn’s “Rider” Quartet (op. 74/3) glowed with golden warmth in the placid second movement’s hymn-like chords, while the galloping motifs of the first pulsed with vitality. [Continue reading]
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)