Yesterday's Theater Chamber Players presentation at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater was a lot more like the tried and true sort of program one is used to. This was a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, each segment was of considerable interest. The opening Weelkes madrigals are not often heard sung by five such well-trained and matched voices, and even if they were a trifle stiff and taken a lot too seriously, they were quite lovely.
Stravinsky's Cantata for women's chorus, two soloists, a quartet of woodwinds and a cello is not often heard, period, which is a shame. Its ritualistic declamation of marvelously metaphysical old English texts was well handled by the girls of the Marshall Madrigal Singers and soloists Jeannette Walters and James McDonald. And the concluding Raval Trio had particularly beautiful quiet moments.
On the other hand, however, these pieces, with their contrasting styles, idioms and media seemed to get in each other's way. After the Weelkes, the Stravinsky sounded coarse. And even an intermission was not enough of a break to clear the air for the Ravel. There were too many adjustments to make.
The concert will be repeated tonight.