Music Review: Klavier Trio Amsterdam at Corcoran Gallery of Art

Pianist Klára Würtz overcame difficulties involving the page turner.
Pianist Klára Würtz overcame difficulties involving the page turner. (Corcoran Gallery)
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On Sunday afternoon the Klavier Trio Amsterdam gave another fine concert at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. This time around the group's pianist, Klára Würtz, was almost a one-woman show, playing with consummate skill and unruffled serenity in the face of challenges, musical and otherwise.

Würtz tamed the ceaselessly rippling scales and arpeggiation in the Piano Trio in E-flat (Op. 1, No. 1) with clear-fingered accuracy. The tempos of all movements but the slow one were taken at a pace faster than the moderate ones indicated by the composer, accomplished despite difficulties encountered by the page turner. The effect of this fleetness was electrifying, although the exposition of the first movement really locked into place only on the second time through. Würtz also held the piece together heroically, finally ending the awkward pause at the opening of the third movement's trio, when the violinist stalled at his entrance.

Martinu's "Bergerettes" were a delight, mostly frenetic and bubbly in character. Through all the rhythmic shifts in uneven meter, primitive parallelisms, and barbaric hammering out of folk and jazz influences, Würtz somehow turned her own pages without dropping a note. Finally, in Brahms's Second Piano Trio No. 2 in C, Op. 87, all three players contributed more equally, with searing tone from Joan Berkhemer's recently acquired violin. While the ensemble's sound was full-throated and passionate, it was occasionally too much so, making the gentle variations of the second movement the most musically convincing moments of the program.

-- Charles Downey


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