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