I admit it, I wrote a really, really bad review of a piece, complete with some snark. I did it only because the composer, Amy Beach, has been safely dead for some 65 years. (Spoiler: I liked Covered Wagon Woman, the Blythe vehicle that was the headliner for the program.)
Prior to this concert, I'd heard about ten minutes of Beach's piano concerto, which sounds vaguely like Tchaikowsky....but with less of his organizational abilities. The piano quintet is...well...slightly embarrassing. Fragment after fragment after fragment, with no shape to speak of.
I can't believe the CMSLC couldn't find a better American piano quintet, or a better chamber music piece by an American woman for their program. If they were looking for something older, little-known, and more conservative, how about music by Halsey Stevens? Henry Hadley? Walter Piston? Roy Harris? If by a woman, Miriam Gideon or Ruth Crawford (both atonalists, of course)?