Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson - Beethoven, Danielpour, Ravel & Brahms - 03/18/12

Beethoven: Allegretto in B-flat Major, WoO 39
Danielpour: Inventions on a Marriage
Ravel: Trio in A Minor
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25 – Nokuthula Ngwenyama (Viola)

After enjoying Jaime Laredo with Leon Fleisher two weeks ago, I was back at Town Hall on Sunday afternoon for another performance of his as part of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio this time. Although these three prestigious musicians have been playing together for 35 years, our paths had never crossed before. A free ticket offer just did the trick!

Ludwig van Beethoven was certainly not known for his light-heartedness, so hearing a sunny piece form his oeuvre is always a special treat. His quick and happy-go-lucky Allegretto in B-flat Major was a perfectly appropriate opening number for an intimate performance.
Richard Danielpour’s Inventions on a Marriage was inspired by the 35-year old union of Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson. With seven short vignettes, the composer explores the many facets of a long-lasting relationship in a wide range of moods, from a tender “As you were Sleeping” to a rowdy “Argument” to a joyful “Celebration”. Unsurprisingly, the couple onstage proved particularly adept at bringing these scenes of a marriage to musical life.
Joseph Kalichstein was back for Ravel’s Trio in A Minor and did provide some downright elating enchantment for the ears and easily stood out from the other two string instrumentalists. Deeply assured and delicated inspired, his playing was constantly inventive and definitely won the day.
Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G Minor took the whole second half of the program for a classically exuberant Hungarian experience. Joined by young in years but mature in talent violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, the four musicians delivered a well-oiled performance, which concluded with plenty of fired-up energy in the final Rondo alla Zingarese. Not a bad way to spend a sunday afternoon.

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