Friday, November 21, 2008

Georgetown Quintet - Ibert, Cambini, Rameau & Bizet - 11/20/08

Ibert: “Trois Pièces Brèves”
Cambini : Quintet No 1 in B-Dur
Rameau: “L’agaçante” and “L’indiscrète”
Bizet: “Jeux d’enfants”

Back at the Kennedy Center for the fourth and last time this week, I made a detour by the Millennium Stage before heading off to the concert hall. The Georgetown Quintet was scheduled to perform, and upon a short review of the program, I quickly realized that the five musicians all played wind instruments: bassoon, clarinet, flute, French horn and oboe & English horn. While I always welcome opportunities to hear something different, the perspective of hearing only wind instruments for an hour was less than alluring due to my personal lack of inclination towards them, but I decided to keep an open mind and soldiered on. And in all honesty, that was not that painful.

The program was an interesting mix of classic and contemporary, popular and little-known works. Since I am not familiar with the wind music repertoire, I enjoyed the fact that this small smorgasbord presented a wide-ranged introduction to it. Bizet's Jeux d’enfants (Children's Games) was by far the most captivating, each short movement dedicated to a specific game. The ensemble unfortunately did not play Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night's Dream due to lack of time, and I couldn’t stay for Mussorgsky’s Ballet of the Chickens in their Shell from Pictures at an Exhibition, but the 45 minutes I got to hear certainly were pleasant enough. The musicians were obviously talented and very comfortable playing together, so they made this unofficial prelude to the NSO concert light and agreeable for even the unconvinced audience that I am.

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