Pasa Re­views

The Brown-Urioste-Canel­lakis Trio Nov. 5, Duane Smith Au­di­to­rium, Los Alamos

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

The Brown-Urioste-Canel­lakis Trio

Watch­ing vi­o­lin­ist Elena Urioste, cel­list Nicholas Canel­lakis, and pi­anist Michael Brown on­stage at their Los Alamos Con­cert As­so­ci­a­tion recital last week­end, one could not help but sense how much these mu­si­cians en­joy mak­ing mu­sic to­gether. They ac­knowl­edged each other through fre­quent glances and of­ten shared smiles over mo­ments that doubt­less had back­sto­ries we will never know. Though early in their ca­reers, they pos­sess ré­sumés that doc­u­ment im­pres­sive achieve­ments both with the trio and in en­deav­ors apart.

On a strictly mu­si­cal level, it was not en­tirely clear why these three mu­si­cians would be des­tined to per­form as a trio, so dis­tinct are their in­di­vid­ual styles. Urioste tends to­ward ob­jec­tivism in her play­ing. Her sound is fo­cused and some­what tight. She hardly bent a sin­gle tone with por­ta­mento the whole evening. One imag­ines her most in her el­e­ment as a Bach and Mozart player rather than sigh­ing with the Ro­man­tics. Canel­lakis draws on a broader spec­trum of tone and tech­ni­cal ef­fect; he seemed the most hard-driv­ing of the group, and one sus­pects he is the en­sem­ble’s dom­i­nant per­son­al­ity. Brown filled in the mid­dle-ground like a me­di­a­tor, tech­ni­cally adept as an in­ter­preter but most cap­ti­vat­ing through the nat­u­ral mu­si­cal­ity he pro­jected, even in a hall that (cu­ri­ously) swal­lowed up the pi­ano’s sound in re­la­tion to the strings.

The in­ter­sec­tion of their con­sid­er­able tal­ents may have been shown off to best ad­van­tage in their open­ing piece, Haydn’s Trio in E-flat ma­jor (Hob. XV/29). It was a pity that the per­for­mance was marred by an ir­reg­u­lar, high-pitched chirp, to­ward which many in the au­di­ence di­rected glares in all but the loud­est pas­sages. I have ex­pe­ri­enced this be­fore in the Duane Smith Au­di­to­rium, and I think it may re­sult from feed­back from an au­dio en­hance­ment sys­tem. What­ever it was, it was cor­rected af­ter the Haydn. For fu­ture ref­er­ence, though, the con­cert as­so­ci­a­tion might do well to re­quest a mo­ment of si­lence be­fore its con­certs so that the prob­lem, if it oc­curs again, can be ad­dressed be­fore the mu­sic be­gins.

Ernest Chaus­son’s Trio in G mi­nor, from 1881, is rather in the style of the com­poser’s teacher, César Franck, with an added dose of the Franco-Rus­sian spirit pop­u­lar in Parisian cir­cles at the time. True to form, Canel­lakis pushed the piece along, Urioste im­posed re­served dis­ci­pline, and Brown re­ceded into the back­ground. They put across the more febrile pas­sages ef­fec­tively, and they achieved charm­ing flir­ta­tious­ness in the fi­nale, which seems a sunny stroll in the style of Renoir af­ter the somber move­ments that pre­cede it. Josef Suk’s brief El­egy, from 1902, might have ben­e­fited from more wist­ful­ness, but the group hewed to its more for­ward in­ter­pre­ta­tion, which in­vited com­par­i­son (in both melody and at­ti­tude) to the spinto out­cries of “Un ba­cio … un ba­cio an­cora” in Verdi’s Otello.

A win­ning in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Men­delssohn’s C-mi­nor Pi­ano Trio, a high point of the genre, in­cluded a mem­o­rable touch in the first move­ment; at the point where the mu­sic keens to­ward the rel­a­tive ma­jor key of E-flat to an­nounce the sec­ond theme, the play­ers achieved noth­ing short of lift-off. The score al­ludes to such an idea, the dy­nam­ics in­creas­ing at that mo­ment from forte to for­tis­simo, un­der­scored by the mark­ing mar­cato e con forza (em­phatic and force­fully). But here the mu­si­cians am­pli­fied the pas­sage through a care­fully gra­dated crescendo and con­comi­tant in­ten­si­fy­ing of en­ergy in the bow­ing. It was elec­tri­fy­ing, and when they did some­thing sim­i­lar at the cor­re­spond­ing point of the fi­nale, it was nearly as thrilling. In be­tween, they brought lyri­cal grace to the slow move­ment and cleanly ar­tic­u­lated scur­ry­ing to the scherzo. A good deal of fun was had in the group’s en­core, Canel­lakis’ ar­range­ment of a Bul­gar­ian folk dance of in­scrutably com­pli­cated rhythm.

Each cham­ber group finds its own sweet spot. Some­times the mem­bers ap­prox­i­mate each other in their mu­si­cal per­son­al­ity; some­times the style of the in­di­vid­u­als dif­fers greatly. The Brown-UriosteCanel­lakis Trio seems more of the lat­ter type, and it will take some time for this young en­sem­ble to click into a mag­i­cal bal­ance of tone and temperament. They al­ready demon­strate that they are com­mit­ted and en­gaged in their en­ter­prise. — James M. Keller

The Brown-Urioste-Canel­lakis Trio

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.