SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, April 29
Mozart and Schumann were beautifully rendered in this soaring, basilica-like space, sunlight filtering from high-walled windows. Mozart’s Quartet for Piano and Strings in G minor, KV 478 opened with a bold short theme with violin, viola, cello and piano in perfect blend. Growing gentle, poetic, to close the Allegro movement, the piano distinctly announced the Andante’s first theme and the second, initiating answers by the strings, to close in an upbeat rondo. Louise Alexander, violin, Kathy Hershberger, viola, Thomas Ems, cello and Robert Cassidy, piano were joined by violinist Philip Palermo for an enchanting interpretation of Schumann’s greatest chamber music work, Quintet for Piano and Strings in E-flat major, Op. 44. Composed in 1842, it is the first important work for piano and string quartet. A mobile melody flowed from the vigorous opening toward a lyrical duet for cello and viola, seeming to end on a sigh. The second movement’s lugubrious tempo suggests a funeral march, with first violin and piano boldly stating their feelings. The ascending Scherzo snapped us out of meditation into celebrating life. The powerful culmination of themes in the final movement sent us smiling into the April afternoon. Between, Ed Greene directed the Cathedral’s Laudis Cantores in Mozart’s spiritually radiant Ave Verum Corpus, KV 618."