Review: Pittance Chamber Music
Pittance Chamber Music and the Chambers of the Heart
Leticia Marie Sanchez
All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez
Chamber Music comprises music that can be played in a large room or chamber, or as denoted by the French “chambre.”
This week’s concert by Pittance Chamber Music suggests a second meaning: music that penetrates the chamber of the heart.
The ensemble evoked a raw immediacy and poignancy through their talented performance and moving repertoire. Particularly moving were the pieces set to verse. Ralph Vaughan William’s “On Wenlock Edge” was set to “A Shropshire Lad” by A.E. Housman while Benjamin Britten’s “Folk Songs,” included the verses of 18th century Irish Poet Thomas Moore. Tenor Arnold Livingtson Geis sublimely captured the nuanced shades of love, death, loss, and humor in the verses which were simultaneously rooted in nature and soaring in spirit. The intimate setting allows the audience to witness first hand the the rapport between the musicians, a dimension and unquantifiable variable of palpable electric energy which enhances the appreciation of performance. A second benefit of the setting is the inescapability of the music itself. A few feet away from the performers, one more intensely absorbs the music and the layers of meaning in the program.
As Housman wrote: “Here of a Sunday morning/My love and I would lie/and see the coloured counties/and hear the lark so high/about us in the sky.”
What a privilege to listen to an an ensemble that can make the spirit soar like the lark in Shropshire.
All Photography: Founder’s Room. The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Pittance Chamber Music. March 26, 2017