Rheta Smith's ability to perform with convincing artistry on both the piano and the oboe gives the Huntingdon Trio unusual versatility. In the fifth concert of this year's American Music Festival at the National Gallery, the trio last night played music for flute cello and piano by Bauer, Loeb and Schwartz, and works for flute, cello and oboe by Bottje, Griebling, Morris and Vivian Fine. With the exception of the trios by Bauer and Schwartz, all of this music was commissioned by the Huntingdon Trio, and some of it was of considerable interest.
Robert Morris constructed some splendid effects with the long unison tones and shifting timbres and sonorities near the end of his "Inter Alia." Fine's music for flute and alto flute, oboe and English horn, and cello maintained a compelling intensity and energy level while exploring intriguing ideas. Loeb's "Partita Concertante," which owed a lot to French predecessors, was clever and to the point, and Bottje's "Personalities" had a rather cute air.
"Goldsmithhs Pasticcio" by 21-year-old Margaret Griebling displayed solid craftsmanship and a fundamental understanding of the instruments. Her three movements all feature the same sort of involuted, circular motion, however, within a small radius and with overlapping phrases. She needs to expand her vocabulary if she is to maintain interest in what she has to say.
The performances were excellent.