The thrice-eponymous trio barnstormed by Boston on Sunday afternoon, stopping with a pair of masterworks on the Gardner. Nicola Benedetti (violin), Leonard Elschenbroich (cello), and Alexei Grynyuk (piano) handled us to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor and Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat Main.
It’s uncommon to listen to these two substantial works programed collectively. In remarks given earlier than the live performance, Benedetti described them as “second half items” due to their weight and size. Nevertheless, the group feels solely these two works can adequately steadiness one another. Each possess sturdy elegiac parts. Schubert gave the general public premiere of his trio on the first anniversary of Beethoven’s dying, and Tchaikovsky devoted his to the reminiscence of his mentor, Nikolai Rubinstein. Whereas Schubert’s trio celebrates Beethoven’s life and work, Elschenbroich described Tchaikovsky’s as an emotional journey by grief and loss. He likened the variations that make up the second motion of the trio to tales shared at a eulogy which finish with the speaker breaking down in tears. In concluding, Tchaikovsky invitations the viewers to take a seat with him and expertise his grief. The programmatic conceit led to a very vivid interpretation of the nice variation set.
We skilled these highly effective feelings by the ensemble’s immaculate efficiency. The three members performed as one, sustaining shut communication whereas at occasions letting themselves get misplaced within the sound. The group formed the music round its texture, altering have an effect on on a dime as required round militaristic rhythms or lugubrious melodies. With a contemporary Romantic mien, they formed with elegant rubato, as one participant would fall behind at occasions or dashing up barely to emphasise pathos, leading to a haunting, ghostly closing theme from the primary motion of Schubert’s trio and reworking Tchaikovsky’s lament right into a soul-stirring memento.
Benedetti used her masterful management of vibrato to direct her strains. In Tchaikovsky’s trio, she deployed beautiful moments of sans-vibrato to spotlight key notes in a phrase, subsequently energizing the road by slowly destabilizing the notice with vibrato. Her sensitivity to tone and colour gave a humanizing contact to melodies in each items. She used knowledgeable bow-control to articulate melodies in Schubert’s trio, significantly within the pleating secondary melody within the fourth motion. Her physique language communicated as a lot to the viewers as her violin. She appeared to levitate above her seat, expressing pleasure and disappointment by ecstatic gestures and mournful bows, invoking Clara Schumann’s quip that Liszt is “…an artist whom one should hear and see…”
Elschenbroich produced a deep heat help for Benedetti and Grynyuk. Great pizzicatos rang by the corridor as richly as bowed notes which resonated within the in any other case dry chamber lengthy after his bow left the string of his Matteo Goffriller “Ex-Leonard-Rose-Ex-Alfredo-Piatti” (Venice, 1693). His melodies sang with the inflection of a dramatic baritone, and his tone channeled an intense, fricative texture that articulated notes like consonants in speech. Utilizing these instruments, his impassioned solos within the first motion of Tchaikovsky’s trio electrified, as he seemed away from the music and across the room.
Grynyuk contributed as a lot to the melodic contour of those items because the strings whereas sustaining a delicate partnership. Within the Schubert, he supplied an enveloping cloud of arpeggios whereas conserving his articulation clear with cautious flutter pedaling. He guided Tchaikovsky by its quite a few variations with evocative creativeness whereas constructing the set to its measured climax within the coda. The haunting remaining chords from the piano endured as he performed with a gentle decrescendo that examined the boundaries of audibility.
Reveling within the divine size, the performers ended the live performance as energized as they started. After the chilling conclusion of the Tchaikovsky trio, they froze for no less than ten seconds and not using a sound within the corridor. Even after they moved, releasing among the palpable stress, a protracted silence ensued earlier than a number of rounds of applause woke up the dice.
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