The Pittance Chamber Music ensemble, an outgrowth of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, opened its 2017-18 Season with characteristically diverse offerings: a rarely heard Mozart horn quintet, early Berg lieder, the late Brahms clarinet quintet and an assortment of Bernstein vocal works. The pool of musical talent from which Pittance draws is formidable, and the results were both inspired and deeply satisfying.
The Saturday afternoon concert commenced with Mozart’s delightful 1782 Horn Quintet. Written for Mozart’s friend, the horn virtuoso Ignaz Leitgeb, the piece is as much a three-movement concerto for horn and strings as chamber sonata. The instrumentation veers from a standard string quartet: rather than doubling the violins, Mozart elected to drop a violin and add a second viola part, a change that results in a richer middle range in the ensemble, enabling the violin and horn soloists to play off one another… read more