ShareThis Page

Review: Biava Quartet's brilliance closes Bridges Festival

| Monday, June 1, 2009

The brilliance of the Biava Quartet was bright indeed at Saturday evening's concert featuring the world premiere of Albert Glinsky's "Allegheny Quartet." The concert was the final performance of the Bridges Festival at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side, and of the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society's 2008-09 season.

The concert opened with Alberto Ginastera's String Quartet No. 1, which was irresistible in the high-energy performance by the Biava musicians. Their individual virtuosity and tight-as-a-drum ensemble served the music completely.

Glinsky preceded the premiere of his music with a genuinely helpful video showing historical elements in his quartet, and including recordings by folk singers of some of the 11 tunes he used to represent different epochs and ethnicities. His piece was commissioned by the society as part of Pittsburgh 250.

"Allegheny Quartet" is an immediately appealing work in four movements. The effective setting of Native American, French and English folk tunes with more angular music in the first movement established Glinsky's style. Only a minimalist passage in the last movement, about present day Pittsburgh, disappointed.

An exciting performance of Edvard Grieg's Quartet closed the concert with brio. Yet the Biava's style was more modern than Grieg's own romantic style. In the finale a passage marked to be very soft and tranquil was too heavy and agitated. There was also a cut in the finale.

-- Mark Kanny

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me