Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio

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Pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo, and cellist Sharon Robinson have become one of the best-known trios in the country since making their debut together in 1977 at Jimmy Carter's inauguration. As part of a chamber recital at Mandel Hall, members of the trio will perform two works with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's brilliant principal flutist, Mathieu Dufour, who never seems to breathe. Of his numerous piano trios, Haydn wrote only three for piano, flute, and cello, and the one on this program, in D major, Hob. XV:16, is a wonderfully exuberant example of writing from the early-classic period--elegant, imaginative, full of mood changes. The joyful first movement begins with quickly played, short descending scales that switch between the flute and piano while the cello plays mostly the bass line in Baroque style. The second movement's subtle, melancholy theme and three variations also have a Baroque character, with frequently ornamented melodic lines and an energetic coda that leads right into the upbeat third movement. Schubert didn't compose much for the flute either, but his Introduction and Variations on "Trock'ne Blumen" is scored for flute and piano. It's based on one of the most heartfelt songs from his first song cycle, Die schone Mullerin, telling the story of a boy who saved the flowers given him by a girl who's since rejected him. The introduction is profoundly sad--the repeated notes within the chords of the opening piano part have a funeral-march rhythm, and the flute enters softly--but both instruments grow increasingly passionate, and the work turns into an unlikely virtuostic showpiece for the flute. Also on the program is Ravel's surprisingly Bartokian Sonata for Violin and Cello. It's full of dissonance, ostinatos, dark and soulful melodies, and folklike tunes and rhythms, and it makes masterful use of pizzicato, strumming, trilling, and counterpoint. Concluding the program will be Brahms's op. 8 trio, a large-scale work that begins with the piano playing a gentle, gracious opening theme that becomes increasingly majestic as the cello and violin enter. Fri 2/25, 8 PM, Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th, 773-702-8068, $30, $11 for students.

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