October 22, 2002
University of Maryland
Kalichstein, Laredo, Robinson Trio
for Joseph Kalichstein, Jaime Laredo, and Sharon Robinson
  • 1.Aria I: Vivace
  • 2.Aria II: Lento
  • 3.Fuga: Allegro
  • 4.Remniscence: Allegretto amabile
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Boosey & Hawkes

If only because of its length (more than thirty minutes), my first piano trio might be called "grand." Grandeur, however, is surely less a matter of length than a question of character — here, an extravagant neo-romanticism. Accordingly, the work unfolds dramatically, demands the utmost virtuosity of its performers, and ultimately glories in largeness of gesture and immediacy of sentiment.

The violinist and cellist frame the first movement (Aria I) with two Herculean cadenzas, giving the work a concerto-like quality. In double octaves, they go on to sing a boisterous main theme, soon to be contrasted with a grazioso second theme featuring the piano. After energetic development of both themes, the second cadenza brings the movement to an unexpectedly quiet close.

Aria II, marked lento, is no less intense than Aria I. It is marked by a more sustained lyricism, tinged by disquietude and pain in the form of a throbbing note (F-flat) that permeates the texture.

The bravura Fuga that follows is the dramatic climax of the work. A slithering chromatic theme, first articulated in the violin, progresses inexorably through all three instruments. It develops intricately and extensively, hurtles towards a near-demonic finish...then vanishes.

The concluding Reminiscence is the calm that follows the storm. The first movement's energetic theme, now transformed, reveals a sweeter, more loving — more amabile — essence.

Begun during a sublime mid-August 2001 sojourn at the Rockefeller Foundation's Villa Serbelloni on Lake Como, my Grand Trio was completed back home in New York City three traumatic months later.

Inspired by the boldness, virtuosity, and open-heartedness of their playing, the Grand Trio was written for, and is dedicated to, the grandest trio I know — Joseph Kalichstein, Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson.

– David Del Tredici, Oct 20, 2002
Custom-Made Composition Fits a Trio Like a Glove
The centerpiece of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio's program at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday evening was a work composed for the ensemble, David Del Tredici's "Grand Trio" (2001). In terms of size, sweep and gesture, its title pretty much describes it: the "Grand Trio" is a nearly 40-minute work in the tradition (and mostly in the language) of late Romanticism.

Mr. Del Tredici knows his customers, and he has catered to their strengths here. The first of the four movements begins with a burst of lush, Ravelian piano music for Joseph Kalichstein, followed by slightly sharper-edged tandem writing for Jaime Laredo's violin and Sharon Robinson's cello. That dialogue continues for a while — the piano alone, the strings together — but eventually that construction gives way both to interplay between the two string lines and increasingly steamy passages for all three instruments.

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, already noteworthy for spicing up the local music scene with a wide variety of presentations, added to its credits a new chamber work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici. The world premiere was given Sunday night by the scores dedicatees, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.

With a title like Grand Trio, the new piece had a lot to live up to from the start. And it had quite an intriguing start, at that — surging flourishes that recalled the most heated, pre-climactic passages in the Love Duet and Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.

For about 30 minutes, the three instruments addressed a number of backward-glancing themes of a character the composer himself described as "extravagant neo-romanticism." One of the four movements was devoted to a mighty fugue, based on a strikingly busy tune and brilliantly worked out. By the end of the trio, the style suggested the nostalgic sound world of Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier or Ariadne auf Naxos, the effect couldn't have been more charming.

Pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson gave the trop a virtuosic, committed performance.

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    • Felix Del Tredici, bass trombone
    • Voxare Quartet
    • Steven Beck, piano
    • Michael Nicolas, cello
    • Mark Peskanov, violin
    • Margaret Kampmeier, piano
    • Curtis Macomber, violin
    • Anna Lim, violin
    • Marka Gustavsson, viola
    • Christopher Finkel, cello
    • Jeremy McCoy, double bass