It's probably safe to wager that piccolo, xylophone and mandolin is not the first arrangement to come to mind when a trio is mentioned -- nor even the second. It was just this combination, however, that performed William Bardwell's "Little Serenade" as the concluding selection Saturday at an evening of contemporary chamber music by the Georgetown Symphony Chamber Players at the First Baptist Church of Washington.
The program opened with nine of the 44 "Duos for Two Violins" by Barto'k incisively performed by Carol Brobst and Adrianne Hills. Clean rhythms and clear intonation characterized the playing. Mandolinist Neil Gladd performed in several selections, displaying a fine technique and musical sensitivity.
The high point of the evening came in a melodic quintet for flute, oboe and string trio by Washington composer Michael Harrison. The piece, titled "Sunday Night Music," received its world premiere performance on this program. Confident imitative development, a sense of harmonic freshness and real substance were all present in the work, which one could hear again with real pleasure. Harrison should compose his way through the remaining evenings of the week as soon as possible.
Soprano Cathryn Frazier-Neely sang the "Suite for Voice and Violin" by Heitor Villa-Lobos with style and confidence.