Thursday, July 6, 2017
The JACK Quartet has a well-deserved reputation for expert performances of spectral music, which emphasize the raw sonorities of instruments and their overtones. This aspect of their practice was heard to remarkable effect at Hahn Hall on Monday, June 26, when they were joined by cellist Joshua Roman for a program that included the world premiere of Roman’s Tornado, four musical tableaus for string quintet. The group’s highly disciplined approach to microtones and harmonics made each work on the program into its own sound world. In addition to the haunting premiere, the concert included a colorful homage to the painter Gerhard Richter by Amy Williams and an enthralling, even lyrical Quintet by contemporary composer Jefferson Friedman.
The next night, June 27, the Music Academy’s operations shifted to the Lobero Theatre for a wonderfully crowd-pleasing and diverse program that included Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater sung by countertenor David Daniels. After the interval, a quartet composed of Martin Beaver (violin), Cynthia Phelps (viola), Alan Stepansky (cello), and Jonathan Feldman (piano) played what was perhaps the most soul-satisfying of all the early week’s compositions, the Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 87 of Antonin Dvořák.