Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lenape chamber season ends

Wow: I just realized how long it's been since I lasted posted. Life does get in the way, and I haven't been too energetic with the summer heat. Last Saturday, when I stepped into the night following the Lenape Chamber Ensemble's final concert of the summer, I felt as though I had entered a furnace room.

The concert was half a success. The first half was only so-so. The performance of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet, which should be a highlight of any evening, seemed lethargic. Maybe it was only the sound of the hall (which is actually a college cafeteria with a stage up front), but it wasn't as bubbly as I imagine a clarinet piece should be. The second piece on the first half, the Three Nocturnes by Bloch, was pleasant but forgettable.

The playing caught fire only in the second half with a performance of the Brahms Piano Quintet Op. 35 by Marcantonio Barone and the Wister Quartet. I wasn't too optimistic during the intermission, given what had come before, but piece was everything I could have wanted, which was a relief, since Brahms is one of my favorite composers, and his Piano Quintet is one of my favorite works.

One thing I noticed Saturday was that the Lenape caters to a largely geriatric audience, though that may be true of most classical ensembles these days. I was drowning in a sea of gray hair, and it made me wonder about the future of classical music. Since I’m also entering that demographic (my barber mentioned the gray during my last haircut), I can hardly think of myself as the future of classical music.

Then again, you’d probably see a lot of the same faces at a performance by the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. There were many parents and some grandparents at the Sellersville Theater a couple of months ago when I saw Object/Project, Andre Cholmondeley’s Frank Zappa tribute band, but at least they brought their offspring.


E. Henry Thripshaw said...

Re geriatrics: I've noticed that chamber-music audiences are older for some reason than orchestral ones. However, chamber concerts featuring modern/contemporary music attract more young people, in my experience at least.

Joe Barron said...

In mine, too, and it renews my hope for the future.