Expect exuberance from the Eroica Trio

Candlelight Concerts' season finale will feature a wide variety of styles



Do not speed on your way to hear the Eroica Trio performing the final concert of the 2005-2006 Candlelight Concert series. Do be sure you leave your house in plenty of time so that you are not late for the 8 p.m. concert tomorrow at Smith Theatre on the campus of Howard Community College.

The Eroica Trio, known for its brilliance, exuberance and energy, will be speeding through some of the most difficult passages in its program, not because trio members can but because it will be musically appropriate. The Eroica Trio is like a Lamborgini: You don't have to drive it over 100 mph just because you know you can.

The three women in the group (Adela Pena, violin; Sara Sant'Ambrogio, cello; and Erika Nickrenz, piano) are successful and experienced solo performers who founded this piano trio more than 15 years ago.

Pena and Nickrenz began playing together when they were 9 years old. The musical connections among all three predate their teenage years.

The music that the Eroica Trio will perform features a wide range of styles.

The program opens with Franz Joseph Haydn's Keyboard Trio in G Major, an engaging work in three movements that includes a very lively finale (all 'Ongarese- in gypsy style) that will begin to give you an idea of the power this group has to really rev things up.

The second work on the program is the famous Cantilena from Hector Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasilieras, arranged by Penaforte. The achingly beautiful melody, simple but exquisite, will let you hear how well the Eroica Trio hugs the curves of truly sensuous musical lines.

Gaspar Cassado's Piano Trio in C Major closes the first half of the program. Cassado (1897-1966), a Spaniard with dual successful careers as a composer and cellist, composed music that reflects his compositional studies with Maurice Ravel, as well as Spanish influences. You can anticipate that the Eroica Trio will perform this work with great flair.

The second half of the program features a delightful work by the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. Smetana's Piano Trio in G Minor, Op.15 is in three movements and features tuneful moments, reflective moments and lively moments, all imbued with the form and harmonies of German-Austrian classical style with additional infusions of Bohemian flavor that will show off the Eroica Trio's ability to navigate musical roads that have hairpin twists and turns.

With gasoline prices rising every day, it is a delight to know that for the usual price of admission to a Candlelight Concert, you can hear an outstanding chamber music group, perfectly tuned up and ready to go from zero to 90 in 6 seconds flat.

Ticket prices: regular, $29; those ages 60 and older, $26; students (to age 24), $12; students to age 17 admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Information and tickets: 410-480-9950.

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