Saturday night's choice of program tested even the most devoted fans -- and there seem to be many -- of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The first half was an intolerably long sit of 1 1/2 hours, not helped by the opening work, a dull and doubtful Bach trio sonata, nor by the juxtaposition of two intensely emotional out pourings by Dvorak and Brahms. Whatever dictated that lineup did not take into account the audience, which could be seen taking a seventh-inning stretch between the Dvorak and Brahms.
Dvorak's "Dumky" Trio a continually shifting stream of emotional states, best enjoyed if one simply surrenders to its spontaneous flow. It is a cellist's paradise, and Walter Trampler gloried in the ravishing melodies with a tone sumptuously warm and rich in feeling.
Violinist James Buswell dug deep within himself to turn Brahms' G major sonata for violin and piano into a passionate statement. In both this work and the Dvorak, pianist Lee Luvisi, though unobtrusive, handled his part with fine musical instincts.
The second half of the program was devoted to a delightful performance of Spohr's double String Quartet, the ingratiating melodies and good humor that dispersed any remaining disgruntlement over the first half.