Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The Guarneri String Quartet provided an appropriate keynote propram to kick off the University of Maryland's distinguished University Community Concert Series at the Adult Education Center Auditorium Sunday night.
There was the lyrical clarity of Schubert's youthful E. Flat Major Quartet, the ripe opulence of the Brahms A Minor Quartet, Opus 51 No. 2. and, in between the episodic opaqueness of Lutoslawski's Quartet, written in 1964.
These were played with a restraint and a patina of tone that was the result, in part, of the alloying of the individual artistic personality into a corporate artistic personality and, in part, of the acoustics of a hall that seems to take the edge off tone.
For the Schubert and the early movements of the Brahms, this was sheer bliss, but the Lutoslawski and the Brahms finale needed some of that bite that the hall had so unceremoniously swallowed.
Lutoslawski's Quartet is a curiously unsatisfying piece. Its myriad advanced techniques, structured with aleatoric but not entirely random effect, is evocative but seems to need some sort of program to give it meaning. It just seems incomplete as pure music.
There are six more concerts in this series, approximately one a month, and elegant offerings they are.