Kalamazoo Gazette

by WILLIAM R. WOOD

by WILLIAM R. WOOD

Ariel Quartet serves up finest fare of Fontana opening

At the end of the opening of the Fontana Chamber Arts 2006 Summer Music Festival Wednesday night, there was no doubt that the Ariel Quartet was the star of the evening. That was no easy feat, as the concert, given at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, contained performances by three other notable ensembles as well. Yet the Ariel Quartet was the clear audience favorite in the sold-out Cooper's Glen Auditorium, where all the music was played.

Fresh from the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in May, when the group took Grand Prize, violinists Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov, violist Sergey Tarashchansky and cellist Amit Even-Tov were as mesmerizing to watch as they were to listen to. They playedwith power, fire and attitude. The slow, emotional third movement of their Beethoven selection, String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, was a stand-out as the group offered punch to dynamics and intensity to the hymnlike phrases in the piece...