MUSIC REVIEW : Chamber Program at Ford

The listener can’t expect too much in the way of interpretive finish from the sort of program presented Monday at the Ford Amphitheatre by ad hoc ensembles from the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

One has to be content with satisfying moments--or movements.

But even these were in short supply on an evening remarkably free of the extra-musical intrusions that can plague outdoor concerts in Cahuenga Pass.

Following a small-scale, rushed reading of Beethoven’s Quartet in C minor, Opus 18, No. 4, by violinists Mitchell Newman and Lyndon Johnston Taylor, violist Meredith Snow and cellist Gloria Lum, there was the pleasant anticipation of Mozart’s Serenade in E-flat, K. 375, for wind octet.


This, after all, was the work in which a similar cast, at Gindi Auditorium, had provided one of last season’s Mozartian highlights.

As before, clarinetist David Howard propelled the ensemble with his warm, handsomely varied tone and alert rhythmicality.

His colleagues’ work, however, proved scrappy, with too many horn burbles for comfort and a general feeling of unease in what should be a sublimely untroubled work.

It took until its poignant third movement for Brahms’ hugely demanding C-minor Piano Quartet to assume its shape on Monday.


There, the sweet-toned violin and viola interplay of Mark Baranov and Dale Silverman achieved the composer’s desired effect of nuanced, balanced grace and sentiment, with cellist Barry Gold providing a firm bass line.

Still, one came away from the performance feeling that pianist Lina Targonsky’s playing, while admirably accurate, lacked scope and intensity.