The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center gave an entrancing program of Vivaldi and Haydn last night at the Kennedy Center. Three of the works were unusual arrangements and a fourth was an unscheduled arrangement of sorts.
Bassoonist Loren Glickman had fallen ill with the flu, and his role in a Vivaldi chamber concerto for flute, oboe, violin, bassoon and continuo was taken by cellist Fred Shary. Since Shary was supposed to be playing the continuo line, his role was assumed, an octave lower, by contrabass player Alvin Brehm. The reedy bassoon was sorely missed, and the heavy-footed bass was all wrong for this light, breezy piece.
Except for this unavoidable makeshift, and some wildly out-of-tune playing by Walter Trampler in the first movement of a viola d'amore concerto (Trampler recovered handsomely in the succeeding movements), the concert was up to this group's high standards. The strangest piece was an arrangement for solo flute of the Spring Concerto from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." As played by Paula Robison, the piece conveyed the charm of the original, even if most of the notes were missing.
A lively version of Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony featured string quartet, flute and piano. The playing of violinist Ani Kavafian was a tower of strength.
The only vocal work on the program, Haydn's "Arianna a Naxos," was sung in grand, classical style by mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani, who commissioned the version with string accompaniment heard last night. Haydn's original, for voice and piano only, would have been preferable. The strings merely softened the tragic contours of this miniature drama of a woman betrayed.