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Dumbarton Concerts marks 40th anniversary with the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet playing Danny Elfman / Washington Post

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The Dumbarton Concerts series marks its 40th anniversary this year, hosting performances in the sanctuary of Georgetown's venerable Dumbarton United Methodist Church. For Friday night's concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet, a devoted audience filled the pews, lit only by a few candles during the music.

The group is touring with a new piano quartet, composed for them by American film composer Danny Elfman. Its five movements, most divided into film cue-size chunks separated by brief pauses, moved kaleidoscopically through many moods. The second movement ("Kinderspott") was built on the universal childhood taunt "Nyah-nyah," while the brief fourth movement ("Ruhig") undulated smoothly. The influence of oOther composers' influence shone through, too, with barbaric-edged Shostakovich in the third movement and folklike hemiola patterns, recalling Brahms or Dvorak, in the fandango-fast finale.

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