by Stephanie Manning
The Christmas season appeared to still be in full swing at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus on January 21. Merry wreaths, festive trees, and twinkling lights filled the cavernous space three weeks into the new year. The evening was a chilly one, and most audience members chose to keep their coats on as they settled into their seats for CityMusic Cleveland’s captivating chamber program, “Tales and Scenes.”
The Pantheon Ensemble kicked off the concert with J.S. Bach’s Concerto in f, where pianist Elizabeth DeMio was joined by violinists Masha Andreini and Mari Sato, violist Yaël Senamaud-Cohen, cellist Nataliya Pschenychna, and bassist Tracy Rowell. The group approached the Bach with a rich, dramatic style fitting for both the piece and the venue. But although the architecture of St. Stanislaus is visually impressive, its extremely resonant space was not always beneficial to the ensemble’s blend and balance.