Expect an exhibition of verve

Trio Solisti to play Mussorgsky, Turina, Ravel tomorrow night


December 07, 2007|By Sarah Hoover | Sarah Hoover,Special to The Sun

Candlelight Concerts presents the acclaimed Trio Solisti at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre in a program that includes Turina's Trio No. 2, Ravel's Piano Trio and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

All of Trio Solisti's members (violinist Maria Bachmann, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Jon Klibonoff) enjoy prestigious solo careers with orchestras, music festivals and chamber groups throughout the United States. Together as Trio Solisti, they have been praised for their adventurous, passionate and technically brilliant performances.

The music on tomorrow's program offers the group ample opportunity to demonstrate its verve and abandon, starting with Joaquin Turina's Trio No. 2 in B minor. Turina, a native of Seville, spent his formative years studying composition in Paris and thereafter returned to Spain to forge a musical style combining the local color of Andalusia with French harmony and form. One can hear echoes of Spain and France in the work's three movements.

Composed in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I, Maurice Ravel's only piano trio is dramatic and intense.

Describing its composition, Ravel wrote to a friend that "I think that at any moment I shall go mad or lose my mind. I have never worked so hard, with such insane heroic rage."

Completed in just five weeks, this passionate four-movement chamber work has an almost symphonic power and richness of sonority.

Within it, Ravel incorporates rhythms from Basque dances in the first and final movements, exotic Malaysian poetry in the second movement and Baroque-inspired variations in the third movement.

Those familiar with Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition might be surprised to see it on a program for piano trio. The original composition of 1874 was a suite for piano inspired by an exhibition of the paintings and drawings of his friend Victor Hartmann, who died earlier that year.

To commemorate the life and work of Hartmann, Mussorgsky created a visit to the exhibition in his music, with four interludes simulating strolls through the gallery and 11 vignettes depicting specific works of art, including renderings of open-air markets, children playing outdoors, toy nutcrackers and dancing eggs.

Subsequent adaptations of Pictures at an Exhibition include versions for orchestra by Tushmalov, Ravel and Stokowski, a piano arrangement by Horowitz, and even jazz and rock versions.

Inspired by the original work and its musical afterlife, the members of Trio Solisti collaborated on an arrangement that is included on their most recent recording.

Tickets are $29, $26 for seniors age 60 and above, $12 for full-time students up to age 24. Tickets and further information are available at 443-367-3123 or candlelightcon certs.org.

Holiday singers

For those seeking seasonal holiday music this weekend, Columbia Pro Cantare's 30-voice Chamber Singers will perform A Christmas Noel at 3 p.m. Sunday at Christ Episcopal Church. Advance tickets are $15, or $13 for students and seniors, and $2 more at the door. For tickets and further information, call 410-799-9321, or visit www.procantare.org.

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