Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gesher Music Festival Offers Challenging Chamber Music

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gesher Music Festival Offers Challenging Chamber Music

Article excerpt

The Gesher Music Festival, completing its fourth season, brings talented young instrumentalists to St. Louis for a week of intensive music-making.

Some programs are repeated in different venues. Concert I: "Dreams and Prayers," was first heard Wednesday evening in the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center.

The Gesher performs "music that connects in some way to the Jewish experience," as producer Kathleen Sitzer observed; the program did a fine job of that. Three of four works were by Jewish composers, using Jewish themes to good effect.

The informally dressed musicians stand to play, where feasible, with brief spoken program notes before each piece. The first was the Trio for Flute, Viola and Cello by French composer Albert Roussel (1869-1937), a contemporary of Debussy.

Roussel originally studied mathematics, and the first movement of his trio sounded like something a mathematician would write. The second movement became more interesting; the final movement was entirely engaging. It was well played by flutist Sarah Frisof, violist Laura Reycraft and cellist Patti Garvey.

Two works were by Ernest Bloch (1880-1959): "Nigun," from "Baal Shem" for violin with piano, and "Prayer," an excerpt from "From Jewish Life," for cello and piano. …

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