If you were not at The Society of the Four Arts Sunday afternoon, you missed an amazing opportunity to hear a trio of musicians who have dazzled the concert stage in Europe and the United States.
The Tempest Trio with violinist Ilya Kaler, pianist Alon Goldstein and cellist Amit Peled thrilled the audience with its precise ensemble and exceptional musicianship. The member’s solo reputations extend from Carnegie Hall to more than 20 CDs. In this performance, the musicians displayed their immense skill with a broad spectrum of styles from Joseph Haydn to Leonard Bernstein.
Haydn’s Piano Trio No. 39 in G Major began the program with short themes and humor that caused the piece to be nicknamed the “Gypsy.” Here, the highly decorative keyboard part was perfectly executed and imitated in the other instruments. The group avoided the tendency to use too much vibrato in the string parts and adhered to stylistic norms for the historic period. In the rondo, the chosen tempo tested the collective technique of the players.
In contrast to the limited harmonic vocabulary of the period, Bernstein’s Piano Trio opened the door to the 20th century use of “tone clusters,” exploring shocking melodic intervals that gave the piece intensity. The creative use of syncopation, a typical device that Bernstein used to energize his works, was performed with energy and a high degree of precision. Here, the audience expected the dissonant sounds written by the university student Bernstein as an exercise in modern composition.
The position of this style of piece in the program is intended to let the audience recover during an intermission by presenting an opportunity to discuss the various aspects of the music they had just heard. The skill of the performance brought them back for Antonin Dvorak’s Piano Trio No. 3 in F Minor, Op.65, a highly dramatic work based on large scale themes set in the chromatic harmony of the period. This romantic piece brought out the sensitive phrasing of the highly talented group and once again challenged their skill.
The audience responded with an immediate standing ovation and was rewarded with an encore.
Tempest Trio delivers rousing performance as departing Fontana Chamber Arts CEO Abhijit Sengupta bids farewell
In preparing to assume a new executive post in California, Fontana Chamber Arts Artistic Director/CEO Abhijit Sengupta made sure to continue presenting top talent here, his home for the past four years. Saturday night, at Dalton Center Recital Hall, he offered his thanks and farewells to supporters of the Fontana, before introducing the night’s performers, the Tempest Trio.
Founded five years ago, the Tempest features pianist Alon Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler and cellist Amit Peled. All three have carried on solo careers in addition to the Tempest ensemble. This, because despite each’s individual, highly distinctive timbre, when playing together they miraculously create an engaging blend.
Sengupta also remarked that Saturday’s all-Brahms concert was more “mainstream” than many other Fontana programs. Kaler and Goldstein opened with Brahms’s Scherzo for Violin and Piano in C minor, WoO posth.2, F.A.E. Goldstein with exactness provided needed rhythmic undergirding, while Kaler’s violin conveyed the dreamy sweet passages, resulting in a short, enjoyable selection.
Peled and Goldstein followed with Brahms’s exciting Sonata No. 2 , for Cello and Piano in F Major, Op. 99. This four-movement work began with the cello rummaging in its lower registers where the tone was especially rich and mellow. In upper ranges, Peled was less successful in producing appealing tones until later in the program when he used the cello like a singing human voice.
Peled was wonderfully attuned to Brahms’s romantic idiom, bowing with brio to emphasize the score’s dramatic elements. Goldstein played with impressive nuance and articulation. Together they created voluptuous music in the two last movements, with the pianist rhythmically brilliant and the cellist propelling melody energetically.
Brahms’s magnificent Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8 proved the program’s apex. Each of four movements offered moments of stunning beauty. Goldstein delicately provided our entry into an aural heaven, where Peled rendered melody with unsurpassed loveliness. Kaler and Peled joined forces for incredibly lovely duet passages. Meanwhile, Goldstein excelled with brilliant technique and empathetic attention to his colleagues’ lines.
The cello’s role in the third movement effectively simulated a beating heart — all toward creating an ineffable sadness. Peled’s involvement in the music was evident throughout. The brilliance of Brahms’s compositional mastery shone brightly in the final movement where Romanticism was epitomized in repeated passages of yearning.
Saturday’s elegant concert was astonishingly affecting, rousing the audience to demand (and receive) an encore, the slow movement from a Beethoven string trio.
If you love Beethoven, then The Society of the Four Arts is the place to be this week. A mini-festival celebrating the composer's birthday opened Sunday with an outstanding concert of piano trios by Beethoven, and the festival will end tonight with a performance of his Triple Concerto with the Palm Beach Symphony. The featured ensemble is the remarkable Goldstein-Kaler-Peled Trio: pianist Alon Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler and cellist Amit Peled. Though formed only a few years ago, the trio plays with the assurance and precision of much more established ensembles. All three musicians are respected soloists, and Kaler and Peled hold distinguished teaching positions, at DePaul University (Chicago) and Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore), respectively. Their phrasing is elegant, their attention to dynamics is scrupulous, and their approach is slightly understated.
If you love Beethoven, then The Society of the Four Arts is the place to be this week. A mini-festival celebrating the composer's birthday opened Sunday with an outstanding concert of piano trios by Beethoven, and the festival will end tonight with a performance of his Triple Concerto with the Palm Beach Symphony. The featured ensemble is the remarkable Goldstein-Kaler-Peled Trio: pianist Alon Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler and cellist Amit Peled.
Though formed only a few years ago, the trio plays with the assurance and precision of much more established ensembles. All three musicians are respected soloists, and Kaler and Peled hold distinguished teaching positions, at DePaul University (Chicago) and Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore), respectively. Their phrasing is elegant, their attention to dynamics is scrupulous, and their approach is slightly understated.
On Dec. 16, 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. The rest, as they say, is history. Once Beethoven hit his composing stride, he changed the world with his pace. Whether during his lifetime or for the current concert season, it's impossible to think of a time when Beethoven's music didn't enjoy the highest respect.
So the Palm Beach Symphony accomplished two goals in its concert Tuesday at The Society for the Four Arts: It celebrated Beethoven's 238th birthday, while opening its 35th season.
The Highland Park Strings is thriving under its new music director Francesco Milioto. The ensemble gave the first concert of its 30th anniversary season Sunday, Oct. 12 in Elm Place School and showed a fresh clarity and precision that is a direct result of Milioto's exacting hand.
To enhance the opener three guest artists, the Goldstein-Kaler-Peled Trio, took part in the concert. Violinist Ilya Kaler, the only person ever to win the Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Paganini competitions, was soloist in "Autumn" from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."
The piano trio is a very interesting chamber music formation: It offers plenty of opportunities for virtuosic display by its members, although the presence of an instrument of such inflexible tuning as the piano often results in unbalanced performances.
Therefore, apart from having good ensemble coordination, members of such groups must be technically flawless in order to deliver the exciting classical and romantic piano trios in a satisfactory manner.
Flawless and exciting are two words that aptly describe The Tempest Trio in the opening concert of The Society of the Four Arts Sunday Concert Series. Pianist Alon Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler, and cellist Amit Peled offered a program that highlighted their individual strengths and close musical affinities.
This year, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann’s birth, the festival programmed his three piano trios. What first-rate idea. His last trio was performed Sunday. The work was written as the composer was slowly losing his rational powers, although he had moments of genuine lucidity. This trio in G Minor (Op. 110) is from 1851, three years before his death. Other music was to be written afterwards but little has the imagination and verve of this trio. It proponents were violinist Ilya Kaler, cellist Amit Peled and pianist Alon Goldstein, who have become a piano trio, said Peled from the stage. After hearing their reading of the Schumann, it is not hard to understand they are going to join forces on a more formal basis. The three have an impressive sense of ensemble and extraordinary balance. No one dominates unnecessarily. Kaler has a rich sound with gleaming high notes. (He plays a 1735 Guarnerius del Gesu on loan from the Stradivari Society of Chicago). Peled has a big, handsome sound, surely due, in part, to his 1689 Andrea Guarneri. Even without that glorious old instrument, he would succeed. Glodstein is an incisive, articulate musician. They all have resourceful techniques and innate musicality. Together, with Schumann’s genius, they made a huge impression, one that combined ebullience and insight.
R.M. Campbell, Special to TGN on February 1, 2010
Pianist Alon Goldstein also spoke before the performance of Schumann’s Trio in D Minor for violin, cello and piano, putting it in context. Earlier, instead of the preconcert recital, he gave an illustrated lecture on Schumann whose 200th birthday is this year. Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler and cellist Amit Peled are performing all three of Schumann’s trios in the festival. Kaler is new to SCMS but not new to Seattle. Those who remember the International Chamber Music Festival here in the 1990s may remember him as concertmaster of the European orchestra brought here by Dmitry Sitkovetsky, and he is a frequent chamber music collaborator with Goldstein and Peled.
The sweep of the trio allows plenty of work for violin and cello but this is a pianist’s piece. The three played with intensity and passion, urgency and propulsion, with a gentle mourning feel to the slow movement, where Kaler’s warm silken tone shone, and happiness in the last. There was complete silence in the audience between movements, intent on the compelling performance.
Philippa Kiraly on January 30, 2010
The Friends of Chamber Music of Reading opened its new season at the WCR Center for the Arts on Friday night with one of the greatest concerts I have heard in my life.
You must understand that the Friends' concerts are of impeccable quality, and wonderful music has been made in that venue over many years. But Friday's event, featuring the recently formed Tempest Trio, was something special indeed.
The Tempest Trio offered an afternoon of bracing, high-wire chamber music performances Sunday afternoon at the elegant auditorium of Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Pianist Alon Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler and cellist Amit Peled are all distinguished soloists, and collectively they ignited a musical fuse, producing refreshingly untraditional interpretations of repertoire both rare and familiar.