I saw the Claremont Trio at Paul Recital Hall Sunday afternoon as part of the Sunderman Chamber Music Series at Gettysburg College.
1. It was the first time I have seen the Claremonts play live - I have both of their cds and have played them on the radio, and despite interviewing them earlier this year in Gettysburg, this was the first chance for me to hear them. It was stunning!
2. The program opened with a deep and serious work by one of the most romantic of composers, Robert Schumann's Trio in d minor, Opus 63. Phrases were handled with care, much thought and with equal passion from each player. I am uberimpressed with Emily Bruskin's vibrato - its well varied, gorgeous and used with the right amount of emphasis.
3. While I am a fan of Frank Martin (especially his concerti for Violin, Harpsichord and for 7 wind instruments) I had never heard his Piano Trio on Irish Folk Tunes. I am grateful the Claremonts have it in the repertoire - it is a real gem. Especially nice were comments to the audience from Julia Bruskin on the levels on melodies in the second movement - equalled by her lush tone of the gregorianesque line. Whoever wrote the program notes also did a nice job setting up this work.
4. The second half was Beethoven's Archduke Trio, one of the true masterpieces of chamber music - ah heck, of all music! Donna Kwong struck great balance with her trio partners (with the lid at full nonetheless!) and yet was the star of the performance. The energy was always high and the interpretation inspired.
5. The trio gives a masterclass tomorrow at the college and will be at WITF in the morning for an in-studio interview and performance. They are also performing all of the Brahms and Schumann piano trios in Boston, something to look forward to! There are also several more concerts in the Sunderman Series to check out.