Review: A Proustian chamber concert in Boston

Posted on: November 13, 2017

Novelist Marcel Proust “gave voice to the interior experience of perceiving music as no one else had done before him,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Sunday’s (11/12) Boston Globe. “Given these connections, coupled with the general hunger for imaginative thematic programming, it was hardly surprising to find St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookline packed to overflowing last Sunday for a Proust-themed concert presented by Mistral Music (Julie Scolnik, artistic director). Short readings from [In Search of Lost Time]—including descriptions of the famous ‘little phrase’ from the Sonata by Proust’s fictional composer Vinteuil’—were interspersed with performances of works by key composers in Proust’s universe: Chopin, Fauré, Franck, Wagner, Beethoven, and Debussy. The atmosphere in the church, despite the size of the crowd, was intimate, suggesting something closer to a salon concert than a standard-issue chamber event. And the performances themselves were persuasive, especially pianist Max Levinson’s thundering account of the ‘Liebestod’ from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (in Liszt’s dazzling transcription), and a warmly attentive reading (by Sarita Kwok and Qing Hou, violins; Lawrence Neuman, viola; and Jan Muller-Szeraws, cello) of the slow movement from Beethoven’s celebrated A-minor String Quartet, Op. 132.”

Posted November 13, 2017