Native bars had stiff competitors for patrons this previous St. Patrick’s Day because the Glissando Chamber Music Sequence showcased works by Schumann, Brahms, and Beethoven alongside music by a dwelling composer, Christopher Trapani. Friday evening’s live performance at First Church in Boston appeared to by some means match the previous phrase “one thing previous, one thing new, one thing borrowed, one thing blue.” Schumann’s experimental early Romantic piece is a little bit old style, Brahms’s trio is a mannequin for Neo-Romantic writing, Trapani’s Quodlibet borrows a theme from Wagner, and Beethoven’s trio is simply enjoyable.
Schumann’s Three Fantasy Items for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 73 begins with out introduction with swirling eighth notes from the piano. Pianist Sergey Schepkin arrested us with tolling notes from the bass register beneath measured arpeggios. Gary Gorczyca’s cantabile clarinet tone floated above the piano and stuffed the corridor. The 2 skillfully handed melodic fragments forwards and backwards, creating ‘poetry and creativeness’ within the music (as Schepkin described in his program notes). The agile performers coordinated their phrases rigorously and heightened the drama by switching subito dynamics in cut up seconds.
The efficiency of Brahms’s Clarinet Trio, Op. 114, totally realized the fantastic thing about the composer’s writing, hanging me with the evolving position of the piano within the dynamic of the ensemble all through the piece. Within the first motion, the piano serves a supportive position, permitting Gorczyca and cellist Thomas Barth to challenge their abilities. Gorczyca highlighted the stoic, resigned nature of those valedictory works, which the clarinet is uniquely suited to precise, whereas Barth introduced out the deep pathos, skillfully utilizing vibrato to inflect with human-like singing. Schepkin gave fertile floor for the soloists to discover, intensifying their feelings with out distracting. In a cheeky transfer on Brahms’s half, the piano introduces the closing theme, maybe reminding us who’s in command. Schepkin emphasised this second subtly however simply sufficient. Within the second motion, Adagio, the performers moved us with pretty moments of rubato that droop time. Schepkin continued his supportive position till the recapitulation when he unleashed a torrent of arpeggios beneath the primary theme taken by the cello and clarinet in octaves. Right here, Brahms made the fascinating orchestrational selection to position this melody within the medium low register for each devices (G string for cello, throat register for clarinet), what is of course their weakest register. The motion ended with muffled cries of “Wow” from a number of viewers members. The piano lead a lot of the third motion, Andantino grazioso. Barth performed off the energetic piano with jocular pizzicatos and luxurious double stops, and Gorczyca added jovial interjections all through. The grand remaining motion proceeded with a extra balanced orchestration, the three instrumentalists contributing equally to the impassioned conclusion.
Christopher Trapani composed his Quodlibet with Variations for cello and piano in 1999 for the Nice Music in Provincetown collection. The work begins with the theme, taken from the sailor’s air in Tristan and Isolde, said by the cello in harmonics. Barth executed the devilishly troublesome method exactly and with excellent phrasing. Barth and Schepkin collaborated properly, rigorously exchanging a recurring staccato motif whereas holding the theme current. In a particularly efficient use of prolonged piano method, the ultimate variation ends with the pianist strumming the strings. Quodlibet ends with a cluster chord beneath a smooth observe held by the cello. The motion appeared to linger within the air lengthy after the gamers had stopped. Sadly, the hum of a heater or A/C unit within the constructing made their cutoff almost inaudible. Although an early work composed in his freshman yr on the New England Conservatory, Quodlibet shows Trapani’s developed tonal language and matured sense of construction.
Beethoven’s extremely entertaining Clarinet Trio, Op. 11 begins with an exhilarating chromatic melody taken in unison by all the instrumentalists. The gamers introduced the trio to life by shaping phrases round themes and used slight fluctuations of tempo to magnify these altering textures. They formed the second motion round key modifications to spotlight the structure. The retransition got here by means of a number of obscure keys, together with a surreal Neapolitan part which Barth carried out with a ghostly, skinny tone. After a wonderful recapitulation stuffed with clarinet and cello, the motion ended softly. Whispers of “Phenomenal” stuffed the house between the piano’s downwards arpeggio that ended the second motion and the fiery upwards arpeggio that started the third. The piano dominated the concluding theme and variations motion. Gorczyca and Barth assumed supportive roles, interjecting with fragments of melodies or bits of Alberti bass with out protecting the piano. An incredibly chromatic cadenza led into the ultimate variation. Even the performers smirked because the flourish of glissandi and arpeggios culminated within the remaining rip-roaring variation.