WORKS: Piano Trio; Adagio; Trio No II; In Celebration
PERFORMER: Joseph Kalichstein (piano), Jaime Laredo (violin), Sharon Robinson (cello)
CATALOGUE NO: Z 6676 (distr. Seaford music)
The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, celebrating its 20th anniversary this season, here gives expert, committed performances (although in an unsympathetic, larger-than-life recording) of four works written for it in the last decade. The title Legacies refers to the influence of past composers on their present-day counterparts. But there is direct quotation only in Arvo Pärt’s Adagio, a memorial to the violinist Oleg Kagan in the form of a Mozart piano sonata movement with added musical commentary. This odd conjunction works only when Pärt’s distinctive idiom comes to the fore.
Of the American works, Stanley Silverman’s In Celebration draws engagingly on a variety of 20th-century styles, from boogie-woogie to salsa, but at 22 minutes perhaps outstays its welcome. The other two pieces refer only in general terms to the Classical and Romantic sensibilities inherent in the piano trio genre. The taut, nervous gestures of the first movement of the Zwilich expand into more expressive lines in the slow movement, but the finale seems too short to clinch the argument convincingly. Most successful is the second Trio by the veteran Leon Kirchner, which charts a convincing course through a varied 18-minute single movement to a hard-won peaceful conclusion. Anthony Burton