Steven Stucky’s “Nell’Ombra Nella Luce”

Post concert, Friday and Saturday only, the Starling Honors Quartet, Carnegie Mellon University performed Steven Stucky’s “Nell’Ombra Nella Luce”. The all-female quartet consists of: Hilary Gamble, Violin; Sonia Shklarov, Violin; Ai Wen Thian, Viola; and Marlene Ballena, Cello, all of which who are very talented musicians.

The composition, also being by Stucky, had the modern flair to it. Although, at times I would classify 21st century music sounding a bit like Shostakovich. The musicians in the quartet had wonderful stage presence and marvelous communication with one another.

The piece was again perplexing and hard to follow, but twistingly enchanting with its mixture of unusual colors. Muted colors. Dark colors. Light was not always absent, sometimes you could hear it and “see” it wishing to shine in, and other times there was no glimmer or flame of light. Although, I felt each instrument played the light in disguise, wishing to fool the audience. Pieces such as this ever pique your interest—not that you are simply anticipating what will or will not happen, but because of how, again, intricately woven the colors and metaphors mix—not mesh in any mean. But, blend in ways beyond my imagination

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