By Lawrence Budmen

In a brief creative life cut short by a bicycle accident, Ernest Chausson conceived some of the most striking works of the French repertoire. His Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano and String Quartet is a superb chamber score crafted in the hothouse of late romanticism. The chromaticism of Richard Wagner pervades the piece but the spirit of Gallic elegance and airy lightness shines through every bar. Canadian violinist Corey Cerovsek essayed this neglected gem at the New World Symphonyís matinee musicale on Sunday at the Lincoln Theater.

Like Joshua Bell, Cerovsekís tone glistens in waves of almost balletic incandescence. His power and agile command of the instrument met the challenge of this daunting showpiece. The haunting melody of the Sicillenne was projected con amore. In the third movement (Grave) Cerovsek traced a plaintive theme (over a bass line in the piano) with eloquent fervor. The final Tres anime was a sunburst of instrumental panache.

Cerovsekís bravura performance was matched by the sensitive pianism of Yukiko Sekino. In the final movement, her digital dexterity was strikingly impressive in wide ranging octaves that rang the house. The excellent New World string contingent of violinists Cecilia Weinkauff and In Sun Jang, violist Dustin Budish, and cellist Lars Kirvan soared in Chaussonís intense expression of white hot passion 

Aaron Coplandís Sextet for Clarinet, Piano and String Quartet proved a lively confection in the composerís Americana mode. Based on Coplandí s Short Symphony, the score combines melodic lines of the utmost simplicity with brashly astringent harmonics. Louis DeMartino offered bright tone and exuberant musicality in the crucial clarinet part. Pianist Ciro Fodere often seemed at sea, failing to congeal with the ensemble. 

Samuel Barberís Summer Music for Woodwinds is a masterpiece. The score, commissioned by the eminent musicologist Karl Haas over half a century ago, alternates delicate shimmers of Debussyís brand of impressionism with elongated lyrical lines for the oboe. (Barber used the instrument in a similar manner in his Second Essay and the central movement of his Violin Concerto.) 

Oboist James Buttonís lovely stream of tone took full advantage of the instrumentís star status. Flutist Michael Gordon negotiated the high flying writing in his instrumentí s upper register like childís play. Raymond Santosí plangent clarinet and Anthony Anurcaís vital bassoon spotlighted the irony and wit of Barberís scoring while Roslyn Blackís sonorous horn offered firm support.

Copyright Sun-Sentinel


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