Thursday, 7 April 2011


It was pouring with rain when I emerged from the subway at Houston Street; fortunately only a block from WQXR where I was headed for a free mid – day concert by members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. I had seen the Greene Space at WQXR on streaming video which, apart from giving an idea that the space is quite small, gave no real indication of what the venue was like. It is surrounded by windows onto the street so that passersby can look in.

There is no fixed seating: portable chairs surrounded the small stage, which was overlooked by a radio control room. It holds 200 – 250 people. The notices advising of maximum occupation over which things become illegal and unsafe mentioned two possible configurations. The space was full

Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor was played by Wu Han, piano; Arnaud Sussmann, violin; Lily Francis, viola and Nicholas Canellakis, cello. It was a lively and passionate performance. To my mind chamber music takes on extra excitement in a small space like this where I was very close to the musicians. Some of the texture that can be heard from strings is lost even in a small hall.

CMS of Lincoln Center at The Greene Space New York 6 April 2011

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