The Fine Arts Quartet closed their summer season Sunday evening with two rarely performed highly respected works – the two string sextets of Johannes Brahms. Fine Arts Quartet members violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico and cellist Robert Cohen were joined by violists Juan-Miguel Hernandez and Gil Sharon and cellist Niklas Schmidt. (Gil Sharon is better known on violin.)
Six players provide a very different experience than four. Brahms made the most of this combination. Passages contrasted the four highest strings with the four lowest – with the violists contributing to both. Themes carried by three balanced string players could be played on a bed of pizzicato accompaniment by others. Pairs of like players shared a section, but rarely doubled. “First chair” players often introduced themes, with particularly strong playing by violist Hernandez and cellist Cohen.Read the full article at ThirdCoast Daily.