Emerson String Quartet & Yefim Bronfman


When he pounds the keys, Yefim Bronfman sweats, furrows his brow, and delivers blow after punishing blow. A pugilist in a tuxedo, he is the Klitschko of the piano, each movement a round in the ring; like a .44 Magnum, his Rachmaninoff-size fists are used to the forceful kickback. So when he ekes out Schumann’s funereal piano quintet with the Emerson String Quartet, named for the gentle pacifist philosopher, expect a stark contrast. Yet they are fairly matched. It’s as though when Schumann decided to orchestrate a lone pianist opposite four strings, practically unprecedented, he had a fighter in Bronfman’s weight class in mind.

Tue., Oct. 14, 8 p.m., 2014