Rembrandt Chamber Musicians warm up a rainy night

Excerpts from Lawrence Johnson’s review of Music of the Masters. Published in the Chicago Classical Review on April 4, 2017.

“The performances delivered enough pleasure to warm up yet another cold and rainy night in Chicago.”

MOZART: Oboe Quartet in F Major, K. 370
“Morgan’s relaxed yet nimble playing brought the right touch to this gracious music, with an equally light style by violinist John Macfarlane, violist Carol Cook and cellist Calum Cook.”

BRAHMS: Trio in A Minor, op. 114
“The burnished string tone of the Cooks–principal violist and cellist of the Lyric Opera Orchestra–fell gratefully on the ear and both played with warmth and sensitivity against Yu’s agile keyboard work… The Adagio came off best with lovely playing by all.”

SCHUBERT: Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 (The Trout)
“The evening closed on a high note with a spirited performance of Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major. Nothing dull or troutey here with all five players (Yu, Macfarlane, violist Lawrence Neuman, cellist Cook and Collins Trier, double-bass) fully engaged and characterful. Along with Yu’s excellent piano work, violinist Macfarlane was especially inspired, playing with a clear sweet tone and consistently bringing out the ingenuity of Schubert’s writing.”

High School Chamber Music Competition
“From its earliest years, the Rembrandt Chamber Musicians have been encouraging young musicians to take up chamber music through their high school competition. The Vieira Quartet played at Sunday’s concert in Evanston and it was the turn of the Cerulean Quartet Monday night. The Cerulean Quartet’s members range in age from 16-18 (violinists Cristina Ciubancan and Vincent Wong, violist Margaret Mary O’Malley and cellist Alex Levinson). The young musicians dove headfirst into the final movement (“Vif et agite”) of Ravel’s String Quartet, playing with impressive polish and bracing vitality.”

Read Lawrence Johnson’s full review of Music of the Masters on the Chicago Classical Review website: