Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Georgian Chamber Players

The Georgian Chamber Players presented a concert at Clayton States’ Spivey Hall.  The program, somewhat altered from the printed version, included a Beethoven Violin and Piano sonata (sorry, I don’t remember which), Grieg’s Suite for Two Violins and Piano, and Brahms Quartet No. 3 in C minor for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 60.  The Beethoven and Grieg were played by ASO concertmaster David Coucheron and his sister, Julie.  David seems to have brought a new elegance to the violin section at the ASO.  He is a brilliant musician and the youngest concertmaster of any US symphony orchestra.  He is 26-years old.  He has concertized internationally as has his sister, who is two years his senior.  The rapport between these two performers is wonderful.  She carefully watches him to follow his lead, but she does so with a slight smile.  She obviously enjoys performing with him.  I can only imagine the kind of support that these two artists received from their families and communities to achieve as they have
The Grieg piece is beautifully romantic, full of what seem to be fold melodies and musical impressions.  In the second movement there is a theme that to me is very reminiscent of a waterfall.  The theme begins on a high note and cascades down into a deep bass.  It is a charming effect.  David’s playing is always technically brilliant and he has a big tone and broad vibrato.  Julie is very attentive to volume and dynamics. 
The Brahms was simply brilliant.  He is my favorite composer and this piece was seemingly over in an instant.  It includes the wonderful melodies and grand development that is present in most of his music.  The Coucheron’s were joined by ASO principals, Reid Harris (viola) and Christopher Rex (cello) in the Brahms.  At his best, Harris can have a broad tone that reminds me of what a great instrument the viola is.  Rex is always a treat to hear- he is both technically and musically talented.  I look forward to the next ASO season to hear Rex and Coucheron in Brahms Double Concerto. 

The Georgian Chamber players are a wonderful group.  They are musicians of great skill and musicality.  The guest appearance by Julie Coucheron was icing on a wonderful cake.  I was disappointed to see that the rather small Spivey Hall was less than half full for the performance.   

I have one final superficial note.  Ms. Coucheron is stunning.  Pictures of her on the internet simply do not do her justice.  She is tall and thin and looked red-carpet ready in a lavender strapless number.  She just looked wonderful!

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