Having left you in such a state of good humor, the musicians almost made you forget the fact that they had delivered crackerjack performances at Gindi Auditorium, site of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Society concert Wednesday evening.
Seven instrumentalists--drawn mostly from the younger generation of Philharmonic players--brought punch and point to Stravinsky’s “Histoire du Soldat,” the closing work. Each played with clarity and nearly spotless precision; together they produced a reading with driving momentum and unusual tautness. Heading up the band was Camille Guastafeste, who played with devilish panache; joining her were clarinetist David Howard, bassoonist Patricia Kindel, bassist Christopher Hanulik, trumpeter Rob Roy McGregor, trombonist Herbert Ausman and percussionist Raynor Carroll.
Gail Eichenthal, the KUSC announcer whose mellifluous voice introduces Philharmonic broadcasts, narrated. Using a text adapted from the original by Alan Parker and herself (the additions being mostly humorous updatings), she read with relaxed poise.
Earlier, violinist Judith Mass, violist Meredith Snow and cellist Gloria Lum gave a compelling account of Beethoven’s Trio in G, Opus 9, No. 1. Superb control, flawless balances and absolute precision of ensemble helped make this a truly memorable reading. The three generated a remarkable degree of tension, tempered by lyricism and refinement. The music flowed with a ceaseless feeling of direction and the Finale virtually bubbled over with good-natured ebullience.
By intermission, one might well have forgotten the more sober--relatively speaking--reading of Hindemith’s Sonata in C that opened the concert, had it not been for the taste with which violinist Barry Socher and Zita Carno delivered the brief work.