Mimir Chamber Music Festival on Sunday, July 2 at Texas Christian University
Music and Opera reporting on is made possible by The University of North Texas College of Music.
Select the link below to discover more.

Review: Mimir Chamber Music Festival 2017 Concert 3 | Mimir Chamber Music Festival | PepsiCo Recital Hall

Mimir Concert 3

Our take on the third concert of the 2017 edition of the Mimir Chamber Music Festival in Fort Worth.

published Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Photo: Jane Cohen
Mimir Chamber Music Festival on Sunday, July 2 at Texas Christian University


Fort Worth — Twentieth-century duos inspired by popular and folk dance idioms set the stage for an outstanding performance of one of chamber music’s greatest monuments, as artist faculty members of the Mimir Chamber Music Festival at Texas Christian University settled in for an afternoon at the Renzo Piano Pavilion of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.

First up, violist Joan DerHovsepian, a member of the music faculty of Rice University and associate principal viola of the Houston Symphony, joined cellist Brant Taylor of the Chicago Symphony for twentieth-century Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski’s Bucolics, a set of five succinct, Bartokian movements based on Polish folk songs. Here, the naturally mellow qualities of the viola and cello set off the lively, pungent melodies in an appealing marriage of the raw power of folk music and sophisticated compositional technique. of the composer. Besides energetic intensity, this music requires a strong personal instinct for the tempo and pacing of folk music; DerHovsepian and Taylor impressively communicated the natural liveliness of this music through its many swift mood changes as they journeyed toward a final moment in which an almost comically dissonant penultimate chord glides to a cheerful resolution.

Lutoslawski’s American contemporary, Samuel Barber, supplied equally intriguing material in his Souvenirs for piano duet, a set of six movements including “Waltz,” “Schottische,” “Pas de duex,” Two-step,” “Hesitation Tango,” and “Galop,” performed by pianists Rieko Aizawa and John Novacek. A frequently humorous, evocative, and deliberately derivative tone here invites the listener to not take this music seriously—until Barber shifts, sometimes catching the listener off-guard, to a more serious level. The eclectic style (the opening “Waltz,” for instance, echoes Johann Strauss, Ravel, Richard Rodgers, and Shostakovich) made a for a pleasant effect on a hot summer afternoon, with Aizawa and Novacek maneuvering effectively through the delightful maze of moods and styles.

As occasionally occurs in well-planned concert programs, one could sense a sort of conversation among the styles represented here; the inspired frivolities of Barber and Lutoslawski prepared the listener perfectly for the arrival, after intermission, of Beethoven’s “Razumovsky” Quartet in F. Violist DerHovsepian and cellist Taylor returned, joined by violists Stephen Rose (principal second violin of the Cleveland Orchestra) and Jesse Mills (of the Horszowski Trio). These musicians clearly grasped the combination of the intimate and the epic in this work, beginning with the smoothly fluid introduction from the lower instruments, from which the first violin seizes the theme and soars.

Indeed, the performance had the aura of an opera squeezed into a string quartet, with constantly effective expression of pure musical character and emotion from all four performers, collectively and indivicually. For this listener, the brilliant energy of the conversation among the instruments in the Allegretto second movement evoked the operatic ensembles of Mozart, while the proto-romantic passion of the Adagio likewise emerged powerfully, and with full resonance from this wonderful ensemble drawn from across America. The final Allegro movement, in which Beethoven explores a “Thème Russe,” subtly echoed the Slavic accents of the concert’s opening works, bringing a superb musical event full circle.




Mimir continues with the following concerts:



7:30 p.m. Wednesday July 5

PepsiCo Recital Hall, TCU


Mimir Emerging Artists Concert 2

7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 6

PepsiCo Recital Hall, TCU



7:30 p.m. Friday, July 7

PepsiCo Recital Hall, TCU Thanks For Reading

Click or Swipe to close
Mimir Concert 3
Our take on the third concert of the 2017 edition of the Mimir Chamber Music Festival in Fort Worth.
by Wayne Lee Gay

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :