The Berlin-based Vogler Quartet is used to big tours. Its performance with Ute Lemper and Stefan Malzew at Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall last week was part of a 10-city tour that includes stops at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
As it turns out, the four men of the Vogler Quartet are equally adept at a more personal kind of event. The day of the E.J. Thomas Hall concert, they visited Summa Rehab Hospital in Akron for a 30-minute performance that they took every bit as seriously, although they connected with their audience in a casual and warm style.
With soaring windows letting the sun in behind them, the musicians performed in the hospital’s rehabilitation gym for patients, many of whom were in wheelchairs. A little Beethoven, a couple of Dvorak’s lovely “Cypress” songs arranged for string quartet, a movement from a youthful quartet by Mendelssohn. It was all in a lyrical vein, just right to lift the spirits, and still played with the finesse that a devoted music-lover could enjoy.
The Goodyear Blimp even made a serendipitous appearance, floating by on the horizon behind the musicians, making this an only-in-Akron event.
The performance came about through a collaboration between Tuesday Musical Association (a Knight Arts Grantee), which presented the Vogler’s evening performance on its concert series, and the Summa Foundation’s HealingArt Program, which is designed to bring art, music and literature to Summa Health System buildings.
The HealingArt Program is intended to reduce stress and promote healing. A patient named Carmen, who moved her head along with the music, beaming as she listened, said afterward that she recognized the music from her college days, when she played the clarinet.
No matter where the Vogler performs, it could hardly have a more appreciative listener than Carmen, who said of the concert, “It meant the world to me.”
Tuesday Musical Association; One South Main St., Suite 301, Akron; 330-761-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.