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Fabbri Chamber Concerts Presents the American String Quartet with Harpist, Nancy Allen
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Fabbri Chamber Concerts Presents the American String Quartet with Harpist, Nancy Allen

- Classical and Cultural Connections


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Fabbri Chamber Concerts
www.fabbrichamberconcerts.com
Katherine Greene, Executive Director
Kazuko Hayami, Artistic Director

Presents:
American String Quartet
www.americanstringquartet.com
With Harpist, Nancy Allen
(Nancy Allen You Tube Video)
Peter Winograd, Violin
Laurie Carney, Violin
Daniel Avshalomov, Viola
Wolfram Koessel, Cello

At
House of the Redeemer
www.houseoftheredeemer.org
7 East 95th Street
NY, NY 10128

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 8, 2019


Program:
W.A. Mozart: Adagio and Rondo KV617, Composed in 1791 for Glass Armonika, Transcribed for Harp and String Quartet.

Marcel Tournier: Féerie: Prélude et Danse for Harp and String Quartet.

Claude Debussy: Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane for Harp and String Quartet.

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 74: “Poco Adagio – Allegro”, “Adagio ma non troppo”, “Presto”, “Allegretto con Variazioni”.


What a gorgeous concert, what a gorgeous venue. This was my first experience with a Fabbri Chamber Concert at House of the Redeemer, on East 95th Street, near the Fifth Avenue museums and Central Park. On departing my yellow cab, I could actually hear birds singing, and the entrée to this Carnegie Hill mansion was an aesthetic extension of that bucolic greeting. In the intimate historic library, tucked among antique-filled sitting rooms, a wrought iron elevator, luxurious stairways, paintings, sculptures, and period furniture and cornices, Katherine Greene, Executive Director of Fabbri Chamber Concerts, celebrating its 20th Anniversary, greeted her guests. This was a quintessential Salon concert, in the tradition of Chopin and Georges Sand. On tonight’s program was a concert by the American String Quartet with the renowned Nancy Allen, harpist. Featured composers were Mozart, Tournier, Debussy, and Beethoven.

The American String Quartet, Peter Winograd on violin, Laurie Carney on violin, Daniel Avshalomov on viola, and Wolfram Koessel on cello, is also celebrating an anniversary, its 43rd season together. The Quartet is known for specializing in works by Beethoven, Schubert, and Mozart, as well as for its concerts of commissioned and premiered chamber works. Nancy Allen has been principal harpist for the New York Philharmonic since 1999. She appears globally at major festivals and concert halls and heads Juilliard’s harp department.

The Quartet and Ms. Allen opened the program with Mozart’s Adagio and Rondo KV617, originally composed for glass armonika, now transcribed for harp and string quartet. One prominent phrase is repeatedly followed by lush responses, with bucolic, songbird effects. The melody is elegant, and listening to Ms. Allen on harp, from my front row seat, was mesmerizing. The harp takes on the tonal resonance of the glass armonika, but in a more textured, defined quality than the surreal glass effects would have presented. The Quartet was outstanding here, and throughout the evening.

Marcel Tournier’s Féerie: Prélude et Danse for harp and string quartet was mystical and ethereal. At times its tonal imagery evoked a forestial adventure. Both Ms. Carney and Mr. Winograd’s violins merged rapid, eerie notes, with Mr. Avshalomov’s viola creating a contrasting conversation with Ms. Allen’s harp. The following work, Debussy’s Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane for harp and string quartet, strongly featured Ms. Allen on her exquisite harp. I noted that her string tones were languid like cognac. I also noted tonal imagery evocative of a garden in spring rain.

After intermission, the singular performance was Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 74, which we were told was an homage to Mozart and Haydn. The first movement “Poco Adagio – Allegro” opens in hushed reverence, and it was here that I noted the exceptional chemistry of this Quartet, so seasoned in timing and tonal fusion. This standard string quartet is nicknamed “The Harp” for its pizzicato sections. Mr. Koessel’s cello was featured in the melancholy, second movement “Adagio ma non troppo”, with its mournful resonances. The third movement “Presto” opened in contrasting racing effervescence. Once again, the Quartet was spellbinding in this setting befitting Beethoven, and another cello solo enhanced the moment. At one point, I noted a hint of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the fervent strings. And, once again, I noted the precision of this Quartet’s instrumental entrances and exits, the musicians’ characteristic cohesion. Sequential variations resound, and the propulsive central theme is softened in the final movement “Allegretto con Variazioni”, before the vibrant chase resumes.

Kudos to Fabbri Chamber Concerts, and kudos to the American String Quartet and Nancy Allen for this rapturous and serendipitous salon. A lovely reception in a drawing room followed.



Fabbri Chamber Concert Space
Library, House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Nancy Allen & Harp
Library, House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Katherine Greene, Exec. Director
Fabbri Chamber Concerts at
House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Fabbri Chamber Concert Space
Library, House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Fabbri Chamber Concert Space
Library, House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Fabbri Chamber Concert Guests
Library, House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Fabbri Chamber Concert Guests
Library, House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



American String Quartet
Peter Winograd, Violin
Laurie Carney, Violin
Daniel Avshalomov, Viola
Wolfram Koessel, Cello
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



American String Quartet
and Nancy Allen, Harpist
House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



House of the Redeemer Décor
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



House of the Redeemer Décor
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



House of the Redeemer Décor
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



House of the Redeemer Décor
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



House of the Redeemer Décor
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Post-Concert Reception
House of the Redeemer Décor
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



House of the Redeemer Décor
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Fabbri Chamber Concert Guests
at Post-Concert Reception
House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Katherine Greene, Exec. Director
Fabbri Chamber Concerts at
House of the Redeemer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net