The Guarneri played a stunning program last night at Susquehanna University.
1. It wasn't well attended, which broke my heart, but was appreciated by those who came.
2. The late Mozart quartet they opened with fit them musically and poetically: the Guarneri has always been in my mind's eye the "stereotypical" quartet, and one to measure others by. The music fit on all of those levels, and they to Mozart's charm and grace.
3. The Janacek first quartet is dramatic and fiery. It's also a wonderful mirror image form: slow-fast-fast-slow. Again, the quartet spoke well for the composer and I can't imagine finer music making than their performance last night.
4. The Ravel quartet is such an old standby that it was great to hear it live (again! I saw them play it in Wichita back in 1990) with the Guarneris. That said, it is hard to see musical idols age. Some things, while they were stunning, are not what they once were.
5. It was nice to speak with the guys afterwards, and to chat: about upcoming performances, the summer, baseball, booksignings and new music. Half the group was heading to BJs afterwards, where I ate with a friend before the concert, so I could actually recommend a few menu items and beers!
Stellar music making all in all with the quartet, a true musical institution that you should hear sooner than later.