The music played by Tashi last night in the Adult Education Center at the University of Maryland brought its large audience unusual rewards.
Tashi is the ensemble whose players are determined by the program at hand. Last night it was led by three of its regulars, Ida Kavafian playing violin and viola, Fred Sherry, cello, and Richard Stoltzman, clarinet, joined by Theodore Arm, violin, and Ik-Hwan Bae, also violin and viola.
The high point of the evening was a performance of the Clarinet Quintet of Brahms, played with a kind of rapture ravely heard. The pianissimo entrances of the clarinet had a quality of magic about them perfectly mirrored by the supporting strings. To hear Stolzman, whose playing is of unique beauty, joined by such colleagues is always a rare treat. If the beauty of a Clarinet Quartet by Hummel was of a lesser order, it was nevertheless marked by imagination and subtle invention. Its second movement had the unusual marking of "an irritation," which the composer provided the players by writing their four parts in four different meters.
The concert opened with a Mozart Duo for violin and viola beautifully matched by Kavafian and Arm. There was also "Celebration II," by Bill Douglas. It comes out in the composer's usual jazz idiom complete with scat syllables, and making ingenious use of the clairnet and four strings. The players seemed to have a good time with their scat.