The Friday Morning Music Club opened its 102nd season yesterday morning in a new (to it) performing space: the Strathmore Hall Performing Arts Center, out past the Beltway on Rockville Pike.
The club is not deserting its usual downtown concert location at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, where it will return Oct. 9. But its visit to the suburbs, yesterday and next Friday, provides a refreshing change: rolling green fields, trees, abundant parking and a wonderful wood-paneled music room in a fine old mansion.
Yesterday's music-making matched the refreshing surroundings. One could quibble technically about some of the performances, but most of such remarks would be beside the point. Some members of the Friday Morning Club are professionals of high caliber, but when they play in these concerts they are amateurs in the deepest sense: people making music for the love of it, approaching music not as a competitive activity or a way to get money but as a joy to be shared freely among friends.
The most unusual and unfamiliar pieces on the program were two works for unaccompanied bassoon -- the late Vincent Persichetti's haunting "Parable" and Gordon Jacob's jaunty Partita, played in charming style by Lynn Gaubatz. Pianist Beverly Travis gave an expressive and technically assured performance of Schumann's Sonata in G Minor.