Brooklyn Daily Eagle
When those who love fine music gather this Friday for the February concert of Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, they will again enjoy one of those rare treats that seem to be the staple of founder Carmit Zori. A quintet by Russian composer Anton Arensky (1861-1906) will feature the ‘crème de la crème’ of classical performers that only Zori could attract to the modest chamber in Brooklyn Heights. Used as a home base for performance since BCMS was founded 12 years ago, the small chapel at First Unitarian Church on Pierrepont Street provides the perfect-size ‘chamber’, which itself resonates like an instrument when these world-class performances cut loose.
As a composer in Russia, Arensky was precocious and had completed many pieces by the age of nine. He studied with Rimsky-Korsakov as a youth, then fell under the influence of the monolithic Tchaikovsky. A famous quote from Rimsky-Korsakov seemed to snub Arensky: “In his youth, Arensky did not escape some influence from me; later the influence came from Tchaikovsky. He will quickly be forgotten…” But during his heyday as professor at the Moscow Conservatory, Arensky influenced a number of notable composers, including Scriabin and Rachmaninoff.
Modern critics assert that Arensky is at his best composing chamber music. His Quintet for Piano and Strings in D major, Opus 51, will bring to Brooklyn Heights music-lovers what one critic has called a “masterpiece”. Viktor Belayev, writing in an official encyclopedia of chamber music in 1929, described the quintet’s scherzo this way: “It sparkles like diamonds in the sun…”
Performing the evening of Friday, Feb. 14, with Carmit Zori (violin), in a program that includes Haydn/Salomon and Schubert, will be Timothy Cobb (bass), Ieva Jokubaviciute (piano), David Geber (cello), Yura Lee (viola), Daniel Phillips (violin) and Tara Helen O’Connor (flute).
For information about tickets or membership in the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, call 718-858-0718 or proceed to website www.brooklynchambermusicsociety.org.