The fourth concert of this season's Dumbarton Concert Series last night brought together the Dubow-Elsing-Weigert Trio and an intrepid audience that dared the elements to enjoy a very nice evening of music.
The program was selected with variety and a change of pace in mind. There was a Mozart Trio to begin with, Ross Lee Finney's expansive Trio No. 2, and, finally, Tchaikovsky's effusive Trio, Op. 50. Mozart wrote trios for less formal occasions and, suitably, this performance, while graceful, had a naive air about it.
Finney's piece is busy but purposeful. He has nice lyrical inclinations and his harmonic vocabulary, while limited, is handled fluently. The ensemble was at its best here and provided a convincing reading.
Tchaikovsky had a fine time with two of the three movements of his essay into what was for him the strange territory of the trio idiom, but then he ran out of steam and ideas. The finale is just a weak echo of the glories of the first movement and the humor and wit of the second. The ensemble also had some problems with the piece, loosing their concentration occasionally in the heat of prolonged romantic fervor.
In some respects these artists were more impressive individually than collectively. Pianist Dionne Weigert is a poetic musician who has a marvelous sense of the movement of a line. Cellist Evelyn Elsing plays with rich breadth, and Marilyn Dubow is a tense but agile violinist. What was missing from their playing was the added dimension of intimate ensemble, something that may develop after more experience together.