The Dallas Morning News Dallas, TX March 7, 2015
Classical music: A powerful Franck Piano Quintet from Chamber Music International
RICHARDSON — Upon hearing César Franck’s Piano Quintet, the composer’s wife, Félicité, reportedly bristled. In its tempests and sweet soarings she sensed a musical expression of César’s current infatuation with his student, Augusta Holmès. “We were all in love with her,” Saint-Saëns wrote of the blond, buxom beauty. “Literary men, painters, musicians.” Even Saint-Saëns, who was gay, proposed to her.
The Franck Piano Quintet got an impassioned performance Saturday night, in a Chamber Music International concert at St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church. It was served up by five expert musicians: pianist Jon Nakamatsu, violinists Paul Rosenthal and Clare Adkins Cason, violist Paul Coletti and cellist Bion Tsang.
Although the players had been assembled from far and wide, ensemble was flawless. Even the many string unisons and octaves were impressively well tuned. In a huge dynamic range, the music rose and fell, surged and sighed, to powerful dramatic effect.
By Scott Cantrell