Ensemble music's chamber group gets five stars

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Every time I attend any chamber concert sponsored by

Ensemble Music, I expect the highest caliber playing in the Indianapolis

market. And I usually get it. This Wednesday's

appearance by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center proved better by at

least half. In

a program featuring Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn, these six players showed

what great music making is all about: choice works played to near perfection.

Mozart wrote two piano quartets, the first and better known

one in G minor and the later, equally strong one in E-flat, K. 493. Pianist Wu Han,

violinist Kristin Lee, violist Richard O'Neill and cellist Nicholas Caneliakis

joined forces in K. 493 to enrapture the quartet in top-flight ensemble work. Han gave us the

most nearly perfect legato, reminding me of our former resident pianist Zeyda

Ruga Suzuki in the years she held sway with her husband Hidetaro Suzuki in that

mainstay series, Suzuki and Friends.

Schubert's light veined Rondo in A for Violin and Strings,

D. 438, featured the standout solo violin work of Sean Lee, who gave us a well

nigh perfect tone, rich yet beautifully controlled. He was assisted by Benjamin Beilman, bronze

medalist in the 2010 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis; Kristin

Lee; O'Neill; and Caneliakis--the latter four players effectively a string


The Lincoln Center

group saved the most adventuresome work till last: Mendelssohn's Double

Concerto in D Minor for Violin, Piano and Strings, written astonishingly when

the composer was only 14. This time Beilman was the soloist while Sean Lee played in the

ripieno (massed instrumental group). This work appeared at the time Mendelssohn

produced his twelve string symphonies, a more amazing output than Mozart had

achieved at that age.

Its first movement contains much nimble passage work with a

bit of counterpoint thrown in. The second movement, a lovely Adagio

using muted strings gave Beilman the solo line, with Han supplying the passage

work.The fiery

finale took no holds barred in a demonstration of precise ensemble work--and

getting a standing, roaring ovation.

As an encore, the Lincoln

players offered an abbreviated Scherzo from Dvorak's well known Piano Quintet

in A, Op. 87. Its

stylish resemblance to Schubert made it a perfect choice. March 16