By Daniel Buckwalter

From the outset, things were different when Delgani String Quartet took the stage on May 5 and 7 in Eugene at the First Church of Christ, Scientist.

For the first half of the Intimate Letters program, there were no chairs, and just three musicians played — violinists Anthea Kreston and Jannie Wei and cellist Eric Alterman.

Wyatt True, Delgani’s executive director, told the audience at the start that violist Kimberlee Uwate had aggravated an old injury while rehearsing Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No. 2 (aka Intimate Letters). During intermission, True said he hopes Uwate will be able to perform the Janáček piece this weekend when Delgani takes its concert on the road.

Yet even if Uwate is unable to perform the Janáček String Quartet No. 2 in Corvallis, Portland and Salem, fans of Delgani in these three cities can still expect the stylistic precision that was clearly evident in the two Eugene concerts.

Besides, as Kreston said before she performed solo work from Georg Telemann’s Fantasia Suites, sudden change sometimes can be a good thing. After that, she was joined by Alterman for three pieces by Reinhold Glière, a Soviet composer of Polish and German descent. Alterman then performed two movements from his own composition, Cello Suite No. 1, which he penned in 2020 during the pandemic. Wei joined the two to end the first half of the program with Joseph Haydn’s London Trio No. 1.

After intermission, Uwate appeared on stage and the full quartet gave a sterling performance of Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 15 in G Major. It was good to see the quartet whole as it navigated the challenging and electric four-movement piece.

It was the conclusion of Delgani’s ninth season. The quartet will open its 10th season in Eugene on Sept. 29 in a collaborative performance with Eugene Ballet.