O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we tell the dancer from the dance?
William Butler Yeats, Among School Children
Ludwig Van Beethoven called music “the electric soul in which the spirit lives.” The supremely talented Camerata Pacifica filled Friends’ Hall at the Huntington with explosive electricity on Tuesday night. Pianist Warren Jones, violist Richard O’Neill, cellist Ani Aznavoorian, and violinist Catherine Leonard all gave riveting performances. The four virtuosos combined in Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-Flat major, Op. 47, laced together tightly through shades of melancholy and jubilee.
Cellist Ani Aznavoorian shone in Grieg’s Sonata for Piano and Cello in A Minor, Op. 36, her face, body, and instrument one. Aznavoorian held the cello as tenderly as Michelangelo’s Pieta, eliciting an intense palette of tones: haunting, passionate, playful, transcendent. How can we tell the dancer from the dance? In Ms. Aznavoorian’s we do not; the music and musician are one being, one entity, one spirit, in a divinely inspired performance.
Guido Reni, Saint Cecilia, 1606,
Norton Simon Museum of Art