It wasn’t hard to decide which of the 2019 Seattle Chamber Music Festival’s 12 concerts to choose: the one with the world premiere and a program where both Ehnes and Hadelich played major works. The Sebastian Currier premiere on July 15, Voyage Out, is a 15-minute mostly tonal piano quintet where periods of frenzied activity alternate with quiet, bleak sections suggesting a desolate arrival of the voyage, with gently drooping melodies and eerie spare harmonics. The players, passionately engaged and eloquent in their interpretations, were Yura Lee and June Iwasaki (violins), Jonathan Vinocour (viola), Raphael Bell (cello), and Jeewon Park (piano). The remainder of the program trod more tonal territory, opening with Fanny Mendelssohn’s intense String Quartet in E-flat, brought to life by violinists Tessa Lark and Erin Keefe, violist Cynthia Phelps, and cellist Yegor Dyachkov. It was a sensitive and well-balanced ensemble where the excellent Lark (silver medalist at the 2014 Indianapolis Violin Competition [Jan/Feb 2015]) was clearly the first among equals.
violin | Worldwide
Tessa Lark shines in Fanny Mendelssohn string quartet at Benaroya Hall
— Melinda Bargreen, American Record Guide