Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kreith-Yi Duo

On Friday night, Old First Concerts presented violinist Ben Kreith & pianist Ann Yi in a substantial program of music from 3 centuries. The two maintained a feeling of tension throughout the Shostakovich Violin Sonata. The intense 2nd movement was especially driven. Mr. Kreith is a thoughtful player & communicates intention behind every phrase. He even varied the types of pizzicato at the beginning of the 3rd movement. Ms. Yi is a firm pianist who states her ideas strongly, & she played a thundering lead-in to the violinist's concerto-like solo.

After intermission the duo presented premieres of 2 new pieces, each around 8 minutes long. Sam Nichols's Wrack moved restlessly from idea to idea & had a rocking, unsteady feel. One of Mr. Kreith's forceful & stratospherically high entrances made me jump. Mr. Nichols was present & took a bow with the performers. Mr. Kreith had to spread the music for a crowd of twisted things by Christopher Wendell Jones across 5 music stands. As the piece progressed he moved closer & closer to the pianist. The violin alternated between sliding tremolos, pizzicato & long bowed notes while the piano punctuated with staccato chords. The duo played both pieces with great attention.

The program ended with Brahms's Violin Sonata in G major. The 1st movement was fast & sweeping & maintained the lilt of its dotted rhythm throughout. The Adagio had a mood of dreaminess, & the rushing final movement felt breathless. The sparse Old First Church audience was attentive, quiet & appreciative. I had fun chatting with Mr. Nichols about the Museum of Jurassic Technology afterward.

§ Kreith-Yi Duo
Benjamin Kreith, vioin
Ann Yi, piano

Dmitri Shostakovich: Sonata for Violin & Piano, Op. 134
Sam Nichols: Wrack (US Premiere)
Christopher Wendell Jones: a crowd of twisted things (World Premiere)
Johannes Brahms: Sonata No. 1 for Violin & PIano in G major, Op. 78

Old First Concerts

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 8 PM
Old First Church

1 comment:

HeadLine said...

Great violinist, like to listen them.