One of the city’s most underappreciated classical music institutions, the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, returns for another week at TCU and the Kimbell’s Piano Pavilion, and there is no shortage of good music to be heard.
If you’re looking for light and graceful works, the festival features performances of Anton Arensky’s feathery Piano Trio and Kodály’s Serenade for String Trio, which never loses its elegance even as it moves decisively into the modern age. There’s also Frank Bridge’s Phantasy Quartet, whose composer is still best known as the teacher who inspired Britten’s Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge. As the unusual and forward-looking piece shows, Bridge deserves more recognition than that.
On a weightier note, the festival also features Sibelius’ grand and inscrutable “Voces Intimae” String Quartet and Brahms’ tragic First String Quartet. (A perfectionist with self-esteem issues, Brahms threw out some 20 unfinished quartets before letting that first one be published.) Most intriguing is Kenji Bunch’s “Concussion Theory” String Quartet, which premiered only three years ago and is based on the U.S. government’s efforts in the 1930s to use explosives to trigger thunderstorms. You can see why that failed experiment from the past might resonate now.
The Mimir Chamber Music Festival runs Thu thru Jul 10 at TCU, PepsiCo Recital Hall, 2800 S University Dr, FW and Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Tickets are $10-30. Call 817-257-7602.