NEW! Review

The Antigo Trio’s debut

By - Oct 19th, 2010 02:04 pm

Kartman and Yu

We know two-thirds of the new Antigo Trio as the Florestan Duo. Pianist Jeannie Yu, a busy pianist-about-town, and cellist spouse Stefan Kartman, of the UWM music faculty, have played together for years under the Florestan banner.  Violinist Felicia Moye, a new professor of violin and chair of strings at UW-Madison, made three at the first Antigo Trio concert Sunday (Oct. 17) at the UWM Recital Hall.

The trio demonstrated care for the arc Beethoven’s Opus 1, No. 1; Arensky’s Opus 32; and Ravel’s only Piano Trio.

Beethoven was mature, imaginative and engaging even at Opus 1. The Antigo balanced a work that often sounds piano-heavy. At the start the players threw the short, edgy themes back and forth and found the sparkle and fun in it. Joyful energy remained high through the peasant dance in the third movement. The humor in the fourth movement began with a cheerful leap of a tenth in the piano. The players brought increasing momentum to each cycle of the Rondo theme and built to a frantic and pleasantly exhausting conclusion.

Arensky built his First Piano Trio on Russian folk melodies. Dialogue between cello and the violin dominates, and the piano plays a supporting role. Development and variation are not so important as exposition and repetition. The first movement turns on an achingly lovely recurring theme. In the funny scherzo, Moye and Kartman realized ever-shrinking, stumbling dance rhythms with ever shorter bow strokes and a lot of finesse. In the slow, longing Elegie, the Antigo Trio opted for beauty rather than funereal gloom, and the finale recalled the beauty of the first movement.

Felicia Moye

Ravel painted his Trio on a large impressionist canvas, in notes suggesting dawn, clouds, streams, storms and sunset. Yu a reading that sparkled. Color spilled from the piano, often in large arpeggios, sometimes in simple motifs played at the very bottom of the keyboard. The quiet upper range melodies assigned to the violin were also memorable, and Ravel made for a satisfying conclusion to the Antigo’s first concert.

Coincidentally, the Clarus Trio (pianist Eun-Joo Kwak, violinist Timothy Klabunde and cellist Adrien Zitoun) will perform Arensky’s piece at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at Cardinal Stritch University. Click here for details.

Categories: Classical

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