Here are some excerpts from the recent concert in California:
MERCI BEAUCOUP, GRAMERCY
Beethoven’s massive “Archduke” Trio in B Flat, Op. 97…. powerful thematic projection and trenchant sound…. provocative and convincing.
Gunther Schuller’s Third Piano Trio opened the second half and the sinewy sonics continued in the three-movement work from 2012. Commissioned by the Gramercy, the composer’s complicated rhythmic structure struggles in the opening Tempo Moderato to be heard through an array of string slides and insistent outbursts and low-bass resister rumblings from the piano. Ms. Leventhal played tremolos at the top of her violin’s range that were captivating. She continued these acrobatics in the Largo with a long double-stopped solo passage in the mid range, with the cello playing in a mournful duet, many octaves apart.
Tremolos in all three instruments began the final movement Presto, then in syncopating rhythms, slipping into a pulsating and languorous tango style. The violin and piano lines interwove with a controlled frenzy which ended abruptly in a loud single bottom “a” note in the piano.
One felt this daring work could not be played better, or with more visceral impact.
Could the high-voltage playing continue? It did indeed with a full-throttle reading of the wonderful Ravel Trio…. This was an irresistible Ravel performance, the three musicians completely at ease with their energetic conception.
– Terry McNeill, Classical Sonoma