Montrose Trio’s Haydn proves a highlight at Wolf Trap

03.09.19
Montrose Trio
Washington Classical Review

The theme of Vienna in the Wolf Trap chamber music series, curated by Wu Han, was extended to Viennese influence on other cities this week. Friday night the Montrose Trio returned to the Barns, where they made their local debut in 2015. The group formed in 2013, when pianist Jon Kimura Parker joined forces with two members of the Tokyo String Quartet, which had disbanded around the same time.

Haydn’s piano trios, the foundation of the genre, remain among the best. He composed his last, the Piano Trio No. 45, as part of the set known as the “Bartolozzi Trios,” dedicated to a pianist he knew in London. Cellist Clive Greensmith produced a demure tone on the cello he had commissioned from an Italian luthier, best balanced with Parker and violinist Martin Beaver in this intimate work.

The trio ambled through the genial first movement, with its gently rocking contrapuntal theme. Parker wove lacy patterns from dancing arpeggio figures with a filigree touch. Likewise the three musicians delicately intertwined their overlapping melodic lines in the lovely slow movement, “Andantino ed innocentemente.” Some intonation disagreements cropped up in the last movement, especially in the cello, but a playful lightness in the articulation gave the piece humor, especially in the delightful shifts from triple to duple.
 
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