16 July 2014

Piano Quartet in the Spiegelsaal

Last month, I went again to the Spiegelsaal, which is a very old building that happens to be a concert hall as well. I have been here before, watching a piano recital of Evgenia Rubinova. This time, I watched the piano quartet composed of Rodrigo Bauza, Carolina Montes, Constance Ricard, and Naaman Wagner.

Their program that night consisted of two Mozart Piano Quartets, as well as a Brahms Piano Quartet. They began with Mozart's Piano Quartet in E-flat Major. I have to say, that while I liked the performance, I didn't like the piece. I will talk about the performance later, but the reason why I didn't like this piece was because it sounded as if Mozart wanted just two soloists. A pianist, and strings. The violin, viola, and cello didn't have individual personalities in this piece. Rather, they sounded just as one, throwing musical motifs back and forth between the pianist and the strings. It really sounded just two instruments talking back and forth.

The Brahms Quartet in C minor, on the other hand, was amazing. Perhaps I am more a fan of the Romantic Period than the Classical Period, but I preferred this piece over the other two. In this quartet, every instrument couldn't stand on its own. While the first piece definitely sounded just like a duet, this one sounded more complex and unified. It's as if if there was an instrument missing, then the whole piece would collapse.

The final piece, Mozart's Piano Quartet in G minor, was in my opinion better than the first Mozart. I preferred it more, but I still loved the Brahms quartet overall.

Performance-wise, the four players were amazing. They were constantly listening and taking cues from each other. I especially liked the pianist, since he was exceptional in the sense that he didn't have the soloist mentality that most pianists do, as the piano, after all, is more a solo instrument than a chamber instrument. Hence, most if not all pianists are trained to be soloists first, than chamber players.

I look forward to seeing these players again; if ever they hold another performance, then I would be more than willing to listen to them again.

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