Two contrasting works made a strong ninth program for the Chamber Music series at the Dock Street Theatre.
New director and host Geoff Nuttall has done both of his jobs well in his inaugural year.
Coincidentally his wife, violinist Livia Sohn brought down the house with George Enescu's "Third Sonata."
There was no reason to charge Nuttall with nepotism after Sohn finished playing a difficult work the composer said was "in the character of Romanian traditional music."
Sohn's able partner was pianist Inon Barnatan.
Together they took us on a wild ride through village dances and the almost nightmarish world of animal, insect, and nature sounds.
The whole sonata, still cast in the traditional three movements, sounded like a Gypsy jam-session, but was carefully notated in the score by Enescu, himself a virtuoso both on the piano and the violin.
Enescu was THE Romanian composer, much as Sibleius was THE Finnish composer, but this piece was more like Bela Bartok's modernism.
Enescu's position was strengthened by some years of political exile in Paris, where he died, and where he had been a favorite of the Romanian monarchy-in-exile.
Nuttall started us out with an old chestnut, Mozart's "Piano Quartet in E-flat."
One of the masterworks of chamber music, this Quartet suffers if overdone, but in this case it came off a little half-baked.
Pianist Pedja Muzijevic played reliably and with some additional embellishments to Mozart's score, but lacked the ultimate clarity of style needed.
The strings were the able cello of Alisa Weilerstein, the solid viola of Barry Shiffman, and the sweet-toned violin of Daniel Phillips.
If this did not quite gel on its first outing, it surely will when repeated today at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.