The Portland Chamber Music Festival’s concert Thursday night at the Abromson Center in Portland started off on a high note, with a fine rendition of Samuel Barber’s “Summer Music for Woodwind Quintet.”

Known as one of the finest woodwind quintets in the repertoire, it was artfully played by Elizabeth Mann, flute, Carl Oswald, oboe, Todd Palmer, clarinet, Adrian Morejon, bassoon, and Patrick Pridemore, french horn. It conjured up the feeling of a summer afternoon, with the exuberant counterpoint and virtuoso solo parts set against a darker background of two-note dying falls and sustained notes by the oboe, indicating the approach of evening.

“Summer Music” shows the influence of Stravinsky but has Barber’s characteristic voice, alternating between languid dog days and raucous children on the grass.

It was followed by “Circus Maximus for Piano Trio” (2000) by Laurie San Martin, played by the Hikari Trio of Jennifer Elowitch, violin, Elizabeth Anderson, cello, and Yuri Funahashi, piano.

Read the full review in the Portland Press Herald.

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