By DOROTHY ANDRIES
Pioneer Press Classical Music
Who can resist a program called “Tango & Tapas,” when it is served up by such a excellent ensemble as the Rembrandt Chamber Players. They perform now in the acoustically splendid Nichols Hall in the Music Institute of Chicago’s Evanston facility, giving their well-planned programs even greater appeal.
The zany title for the Oct. 15 program embraced music by everyone’s favorite Astor Aiazzolla, as well as Alberto Ginastera and Paquita D’Rivera.
Guest artists, Gail Williams, horn, William Buchman, bassoon, Teresa Fream and Yuan-Qing Yu, violins, and Howard Levy, harmonica, added to the diversity of sound.
The hit, of course, was “Five Tango Sensations” by Piazzolla, written for harmonica and string quintet, complete with the titles Asleep, Loving, Anxiety, Despair, and Fear.
Levy’s harmonica was soulful, sometimes expressing a kind of romantic poignancy, and at others crying out in distress. The final movement was layered like a fugue, with players entering one by one and enriching the mix.
Each time we get in our cars and drive to concert halls, we hope for something beautiful, or at least interesting. With that Rembrandt concert we got both.
This group’s next concert is Feb. 4, when the music of contemporary composer John Adams will be played. Interesting, for sure, and who knows — maybe even beautiful.