Amy Beth Horman's Sunday violin recital was at the Church of the Annunciation. A review in Tuesday's Style section incorrectly reported the venue. (Published 01/14/2000)
Some musicians playing free concerts sound like they're just going through the motions, but at her violin recital Sunday at the Church of the Assumption, Amy Beth Horman's intelligence and emotional generosity were constantly on display. With her unerring sense of line and gift for highlighting important themes, Horman is the opposite of the magician who hides important information from the audience.
She brought passionate intensity to a program of disparate works, from Franck's familiar Sonata in A and a Bach partita that sounded characteristically like the ruminative thoughts of the composer in measured reflection, to a sonata by contemporary composer John Corigliano that more closely resembled the brain waves of someone who is running scared.
Horman's long bow lines answered equally the different sets of technical challenges posed by each work. Her accompanist, Francis Conlon, was like an anchor to her sometimes romantic playing, his piano style assured and uncluttered.
Horman's frustration was apparent when she spun out flowing, melodic lines from Bach's Partita in B Minor only to have them climax in the sound of a siren outside on Massachusetts Avenue NW, or with the hacks and sneezes of an audience suffering through a notorious flu season. But her vigorous reading of a soaring solo passage in the Corigliano sonata had members of the audience quietly craning their necks forward as if in hope of bathing a little deeper in her exceptionally warm tone.