The program opened with Grammy-winning contemporary American composer Joan Tower‘s “Big Sky” for Piano Trio. Steven and Rebecca took turns introducing the 7-minute piece, informing the audience on how its untraditional form flowed rather than pulsed to a beat. The composer’s childhood memory of riding her horse in the peaceful and beautiful Andes range was the inspiration for this piece. Its atonality created a moody, intense atmosphere.
Brian and Steven then brightened the mood with the joyful, energetic “Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Major, Opus 58” by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Brian introduced the work, mentioning the influence of Franz Schubert and Johann Sebastian Bach in the composer’s work. The first movement is my favorite, calling to mind a vision of galloping horses or children running playfully at full speed.
After a brief intermission, the trio closed the program with the passionate “Piano Trio in F Minor, Opus 65” by Antonîn Dvorák. Rebecca introduced the work, sharing with us how Dvorák’s music reflects his character and amiable personality as much as if not more than his musicality.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold, rainy February afternoon than immersed in beautiful music performed by these extraordinary, dedicated, talented and warm musicians. Truly inspiring. I highly recommend attending their concerts at this lovely venue.
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Pastimes For a Lifetime Art and Piano School is located in Valley Glen, California. 818-766-0614. School is open Tuesday – Saturday year round, except for major holidays.