From music critic Lindsay Koob:
By the third run of Chamber Music IX, word must’ve gotten out that one o’ them modern works was on the agenda, because there were quite a few empty seats at the 1 pm concert. Or was it just that the festival’s winding down? Either way, some folks missed a great show.
Concerning flutist extraordinaire Tara Helen O’Connor: Wadsworth told us in an earlier outing that they include her middle name to avoid confusion with a like-named stripper. You gotta be a good sport to work with this guy. With Wadsworth at the Steinway, she kicked off the program with Philippe Gaubert’s Nocturne and Allegro Scherzando. O’Connor’ s wicked flute – first dreamy, then playful – soared over the atmospheric piano foundation.
Coincidentally, this grief-stricken music was first violinist Geoff Nuttall’s own festival swan song, as he had to leave Charleston immediately after this performance to attend to a serious family illness. Nuttall’s own grief wasn’t far from the surface: his usual exuberance was scaled back a few notches - and it probably added to his ensemble’s interpretation of this terrifying masterpiece. This may mean yet another festival substitution for the group - regular violinist Barry Schiffman is already away on paternity leave. Vaya con Dios and best wishes, Geoff.