With sensitive support from the Wolf Trap Chamber Orchestra under conductor Earl Wild, an accomplished quartet of soloists brought a rich musical mixture to Filene Center last night.
Twenty-one-year-old Charles Curtis opened the evening as guest artist in Haydn's Cello Concerto in B Major, Op. 101. His style has matured considerably since his appearances at Wolf Trap last summer, and the passion Curtis puts into his performance has shifted from surface excitement to a deeper level of communication. The formidable musicality is still there, but it was tempered last night by a more restrained approach. His attention is moving from sharp dramatic contrasts to more subtle exploration of phrasing and structure. He shaped some particularly lovely lines in the first movement, and the closing rondo skipped along with a gentle agility.
Joining the orchestra for Ravel's "Introduction and Allegro for Harp," harpist Gloria Agostini projected the lush harmonies of her part with extreme precision and clarity. Extending this luxuriant vein further, pianist Alfred Rizzo and violinist David Kim closed the program with Chausson's Concerto for Piano, Violin and Strings, Op. 21. Gifted but temperamentally opposite, the two proved a less than fortuitous match. Rizzo kept turning the work into a big power-piece, while Kim strained toward a more flexible and poetic interpretation. Wild held the music firmly together and the results, if less than uniform, were often quite satisfying.