Chicago Chamber Musicians
A tribute to a major composer on a milestone anniversary should be an occasion for appreciation and discovery. But the Chicago Chamber Musicians rise only halfway to the challenge with this all-Schubert season opener, a bicentennial celebration of the Viennese composer's birth. The program, a repeat of CCM's inaugural concert a decade ago, features the "Trout" Quintet, the beloved and much-recorded piano quintet that has helped perpetuate Schubert's cliched reputation as a sublime melodist. And more likely than not it'll be performed with skill and intensity by the ensemble's capable pianist Deborah Sobol and its four top-notch string players - violinists Joseph Genualdi and Stefan Hersh, violist Rami Solomonow, and cellist Christopher Costanza - who are known collectively as the Chicago String Quartet, newly in residence at DePaul University. But the group could've delved deeper into Schubert's chamber oeuvre and come up with some of his lesser-known, if not more significant, quartets and piano trios. The other work in the tribute, the Octet in F for Strings and Winds, while far less familiar by comparison, is a rather minor piece that revels in pastoral prettiness but offers little else. At the very least, however, the charming octet provides an opportunity to hear three brilliant principals from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra wind section - Larry Combs (clarinet), William Buchman (bassoon), and Gail Williams (horn). The CCM, not exactly known for being venturesome, has no other Schuberts (obscure or otherwise) scheduled this season. Too bad, because these accomplished musicians, more than other local chamber groups, have the esprit de corps to perform a meaningful, substantial Schubertiad. Sunday, 7:30 PM, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 1977 South Campus Dr., Evanston. Monday, 7:30 PM, concert hall, DePaul University, 800 W. Belden. 312-342-5226.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo of CCM.