Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The National Symphony String Quartet - Miran Kojian and Virginia Harpham, violins; Richard Parnas, viola, and John Martin, cello - gave a distinguished performance Sunday night in the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center.
Quartet Fantasy, a recent work by Stephen Douglas Burton, begins with an aggressive march succeeded by a more lyric idea. The working out alternates the two themes, entire or in fragments. The second movement, Fantasia, starts with a long recitative for viola, sensitively played by Parnas, and continues with variations on a song by the composer, to a text by Hermann Hesse.
The style is electric, combining 20th-century techniques with the kind of melodic line that became unfashionable about 1910. It is high time to integrate these directions and composer Burton (of Vienna, Va.) may be the man to do it.
The C Major Haydn Quartet was played in a rather romantic way, especially effective in the slow movement, in which Kojian's violin soared over the rich sound of the lower voices.
The rapid movements were played well, but lost some clarity because of reverberation in the hall.
Not reviewed was the Beethoven String Quartet Opus 132, which closed the program, replacing the American Quarter of Dvorak originally scheduled.