Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trio Cavatina

Trio Cavatina
Tuesday, February 9, 8pm
Herbst Theatre

SCHUMANN: Piano Trio, Opus 110 in G minor
CHOPIN: Piano Trio, Opus 8 in G minor
BRAHMS: Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, Opus 87

Herbst theatre intermissionSF Performances presented this unapologetically Romantic program at Herbst Theatre last night in appreciation of their donors & subscribers. Trio Cavatina are the 2009 Naumburg Competition winners & are quite a sleek-looking group, being 3 young woman in shoulder-baring dresses. I could not help but think that they must be a classical music publicist's dream.

As one would expect from competition winners, all 3 members of the trio play with great technical proficiency, & they were no doubt note-perfect this evening. They make an attractive, lustrous sound. I liked how violinist Harumi Rhodes consistently used the full length of the bow. Cellist Priscilla Lee has a similarly fluid style of playing, & her cello sound is exceptionally clean & even. Pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute plays with great refinement &, with her long slender arms, looks quite elegant at the piano.

As this concert was general seating, the downstairs filled quickly, & I ended up in the balcony, which was itself at least a 3rd full. The trio seems averse to tuning on stage. At the end of the intermission, the page turner came on & hit the A on the piano, at which point we heard the strings tuning just off stage. The page turner may have a had a difficult night herself, as she missed at least 2 cues during the Chopin, forcing the pianist to flip a couple of her own pages.


Stephen Smoliar said...

That was an interesting observation about Rhodes' bowing. The last time Robert Mann gave a Master Class at the Conservatory, he was very big on minimizing the amount of bow movement! (You may recall Felt mentioning that Mann directs the Naumberg Foundation, which ran that competition.)

Axel Feldheim said...

Hmmm. What did he mean by minimizing bow movement? Using less of the bow? Fewer direction changes?

I actually liked her bow arm. She exhibits that endless bow thing where it looks like she's reached the end of the stroke, but then manages to play a bunch more notes before having to change direction.

Stephen Smoliar said...

Basically, he was trying to get the students to get more sound from less bow movement. He did not explicitly address direction change, although I would guess that shorter strokes can make direction changes smoother. By the way, did the name "Rhodes" ring a bell with you?

Axel Feldheim said...

Interesting. I suppose it's all about playing more efficiently. Yes, I am aware that Ms. Rhodes is a 2nd generation chamber music musician.