Music Review: At 21, more satisfying than ever
By Jim Lowe
Staff Writer | August 19,2013
RANDOLPH — Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival opened its 21st summer season Saturday at Chandler Music Hall with an unusual program that proved most satisfying. Remaining concerts are in Randolph and Montpelier through next weekend.
The major work Saturday, though, was a staple of the chamber music repertoire. Johannes Brahms’ 1865 “Horn Trio,” the Trio in E-flat Major, Opus 40, is a grand and lyrical work, full of beauty, passion and deep emotion. Pianist Jung Lin, violinist Basia Danilow and French hornist Ellen Dinwiddie Smith proved more than able in a moving and exciting performance. Lin, new to the festival, played with clarity, sensitivity and, when called for, power. Danilow, a staple of the festival, was warm and passionate, but always within Brahms’ limits. Smith, another newcomer, played with warmth and lyricism.
The slow movement, Adagio mesto, proved particularly affecting, full of pathos and introspective emotional power. Although there were some rough edges, the final Allegro con brio drove to an exciting end.
Delightful is the best way to describe Dmitri Shostakovich’s Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano (arranged by Lev Atovmian from other works with the composer’s sanction). Rather than Shostakovich’s usual brooding darkness and sardonic wit, these pieces, though never insipid, are filled with warm lyricism and Slavic charm.
Danilow and Lin were joined by violinist Arturo Delmoni, a festival staple and New York virtuoso who plays frequently in Vermont, in a stylish and sensually beautiful performance. The sound was rich and warm as Delmoni and the Russian-born Danilow, complemented by Lin, “sang” these rich melodies.
Oddest was an obscure work by Ludwig van Beethoven, his one-movement Duo in E-flat Major for Viola and Cello, no masterpiece but full of typical Beethoven lyricism and interplay. Delmoni, this time on viola, and cellist Peter Sanders, the festival’s founder and artistic director, had great fun with it and played it with aplomb. And it was beautiful.
Dessert was “Navarra (Danza Espagnola),” Opus 33, by the Spanish Romantic violin virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate. Delmoni and Danilow, with Lin’s help, enjoyed the work’s sweet virtuosity, a delicious mix of sensual Spanish lyricism and violin pyrotechnics. The performers had great fun with it — as did the audience.
Now 21 years old, the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival has proved again to offer some of the most satisfying concerts among the state’s many excellent summer classical music festivals.
Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival
n Thursday, Aug. 22: Randolph – Open rehearsal, free, Chandler Music Hall, 7 p.m.
n Friday, Aug. 23: Randolph – The Concert or Kids, Island Time Steel Band in “Off to the Islands!” $6, Chandler Music Hall, 11 a.m.
n Friday, Aug. 23: Montpelier – Same as Aug. 24, $25, Unitarian Church, 8 p.m.
n Saturday, Aug. 24: Randolph – Saturday Concert Series featuring music of Bartok, Berio, Piston and Bruch, $25, Chandler Music Hall, 8 p.m.
n Sunday, Aug. 25: Randolph – Festival finale with Island Time Steel Band, free, Randolph Gazebo, 12:30 p.m.
For tickets or information, go online to www.cvcmf.org or www.centralvtchambermusicfest.org.