A quick take on Tuesday's Ojai North! concerts

Tuesday night's earlier Ojai North! concert, the second night of four currently underway on the Berkeley campus courtesy of Cal Performances, featured two absolutely stunning performances: Schnittke's Piano Quintet, featuring Leif Ove Andsnes and members of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, was one of the best things I've heard all year; following this was an incredible performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring performed on two pianos by Andsnes and Marc-Andre Hamelin that was as fascinating as it was riveting.

The later concert featured Janacek's First String Quartet, "The Kreutzer Sonata," arranged for string orchestra and featuring readings from Tolstoy's novella of the same name by actor Theodore Jansen. This didn't work for me, probably because as Lisa would say, this kind of thing "gives me the fear." Jansen's reading was well-done, but I would rather they just let the music do the talking. I'll have more to say about the performances later, but if last night was indicative of what's to come during tonight and tomorrow's concerts, get a ticket- they're inexpensive and available at the door, online, or on the phone at 510-642-9988. You can see the remaining schedule in this post, and check out Brian's reviews of the performances by the same musicians last week in Ojai proper.