ROCKPORT – A certain kind of music fan insists that things aren’t as good as they were in some golden age, some decades ago. Past performers had more personality, gave the music more character, and were more interesting, so this thinking goes. It’s an attitude that dovetails nicely – or perniciously – with classical music’s general fixation on of its own past.
It’s nonsense, of course. I’m increasingly convinced we are living through our own golden age of performance, particularly when it comes to string quartets. There is an astonishing number of young quartets with high technique levels and fresh approaches to both familiar works and fresh concert programming.
A case in point is the superb Calder Quartet, who played the first of two concerts at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival on Thursday.