From The Evening Bulletin (Philadelphia, PA) , Dec. 7, 1972

At Free Library

Fair Wind for Quartet

By WILLIAM J. NAZZARO
Of The Bulletin Staff

The Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet was in fine form last night at the Free Library in Logan Square for a program of Mozart, Amram, Etler and Hindemith.

The concert was the second event in the 25th annual series , of free chamger music concerts presented by the library in cooperation with the Samuel S. Fels Fund and the First Pennsylvania Charitable Foundation.

The quintet, composed of Murray Panitz, flute, John de Lancie, oboe, Anthony Gigliotti, clarinet, Bernard Garfield, bassoon, and Mason Jones, horn, all first chair members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, performed about as perfectly as human nature will allow.

The quintet's tone was ravishing, their musicianship impeccable, and their enthusiasm unbounded. It was simply flawlessly beautiful playing.


THE PROGRAM opened with Mozart's delightful Divertimento No. 8 in F, (K. 213), a charming worrysomefree work, full of high spirits, though not much depth. The quintet played it with firm rhythm and a strong sense of style.

Then came David Amram's Quintet for Winds, composed ir 1968. The Philadelphia-born Amram was on hand, and told the large audience he had written the piece because "conductors today are so over-eemphasized we forget about the people playing the music."

Amram writes in a conservative idiom, with elements of folk and jazz contained within accepted classical forms. The opening movement, for example, is in conventional sonata form; the andante is based on a Renaissance-like theme; and the finale is a theme and variations.

This last movement had the audience in stitches as Amram spoofed certain devices beloved of the avant-garde.

It was marvelously funny to see the players beat on their instruments, or whisper into them to achieve some outlandishly weird sounds, not to mention Mason Jones slapping the mouthpiece ot his horn while the others beat time with their feet in unison.

It's not great music, but it was a lot of fun last night. Amram said later that the performance was the first he had ever heard that was done right. With the composer satisfied, what can a mere critic add?


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