This year my wife and I decided to focus on chamber music at the Bravo Vail Music Festival. our first concert featured the Opus One chamber group comprised of a piano quartet. Pianist Anne-Marie McDermitt is also the artistic director for the festival and is very entertaining to watch; her facial histrionics rival anyone. The group performed the Mendelssohn Trio in C Minor and the Brahms Quartet #1. Both pieces do not bear the marks of their composers as much as one would expect.
Mendelssohn was more Romantic than I would have expected. the trio played well, although the violinist seemed to struggle with intonation. The cello, played by Peter Wiley, had a beautiful tone and balanced nicely. The Brahms lacked the signature harmonic surprises but was still entailing nonetheless and had a great finale. Much to my surprise the viola added a lot. Viola is often the instrument that is on the butt end of many a joke, but the performance here by Peter Tenenbom really enriched the quartet.
Tonight, string quartets, more by Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, Smetena, and Barber. The next three nights are a new series mixing traditional works with contemporary ones. I am very excited to hear those.