The last ghostly notes evaporated, bare suggestions of pitch-specific wind, really. And then without pause, Jennifer Koh headed into Brahms' Violin Sonata in D minor with pianist Shai Wosner. Were they trying to establish some relationship between the Brahms and the piece before, György Kurtág's Tre Pezzi? Did they elide the works to ensure that Wednesday night's Perelman Theater audience didn't curdle the peace with applause?
A little explanation to listeners about this and other matters would have gone a long way in Koh's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital. The Kurtág, from 1979, was enigmatic enough; I'm afraid the rest of the program, Janácek's Violin Sonata and the Violin Sonata No. 1 of Bartók, left much of the audience in the dark. "I'll wait for you to explain what that was about," one by-no-means-unsophisticated listener said to me after the Bartók.