Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, and Lynn Harrell | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, and Lynn Harrell

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All stars in their own right as soloists, pianist Yefim Bronfman, violinist Gil Shaham, and cellist Lynn Harrell (replacing Truls Mork) are touring together as a supertrio, like many before them. Their Chicago program consists of Mozart's sunny Trio in C Major, Schubert's intoxicating Trio no. 2, and, even more appealing, Shostakovich's profoundly personal and moving Second Trio, one of the great works of 20th-century chamber music. Stunned by the death of his close friend and mentor Ivan Sollertinsky, Shostakovich wrote the piece as an elegy. The emotionally schizophrenic first movement opens with the cello's high harmonics piercing the silence, and the second is a bracing scherzo, with the violin and cello in an agitated dialogue. The next movement, marked largo, is desolate yet beautiful, and the last opens with a danse macabre, climaxing in a brilliant sequence where the first movement's opening theme, now anguished instead of icy, emerges out of cascading notes on the piano. At its end a ghostly sadness that echoes the largo fades to a few wisps of the danse macabre. It should be a riveting evening. a 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114, $18-$43.

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