The Tuesday noontime concert at the Church of the Epiphany featured three young musicians, a pianist, a trumpeter and a cellist. An odd combination, I thought, and more unusual (for me) still, the program: works by three 20th century composers – Eric Ewazen, Carson Cooman and Pixinguinha.
The first piece was Ewazen’s Trio. I admired the musicianship in the opening movement, Allegro Energico, particularly the steady rhythm of the piano, but I had a hard time getting into the music itself, and was thinking how important it is to have familiarity with a piece of classical music in order to fully appreciate it. And this thought stuck with me through the next two movements, although my appreciation of the trio grew as it went along.
But then I heard Cooman’s Lyric Trio, a shorter four movement composition, and I had none of that feeling of aloofness. This was music I could thoroughly enjoy on first hearing, perhaps because it is a bit more lyrical and less jarring. It is a tone poem really, and follows very carefully the names of its movements: Windswept, Whispering Wings, Towards Light, and Let Evening Come.
Sitting with my Blackberry, I learned that Pixinguinha (not his given name) was a master of Brazilian chorro music – not that I still fully understand what it is, but it seems to be a form of classical/folk music, with an improvisational element. The trio yesterday were not improvising, but were playing an arrangement by someone named Lacera. I must say that I was disappointed in the piece itself, but then again, maybe it is both because I had never heard Naquele Tempo before, and maybe because the entire genre was unknown to me.
I thought it was a brave selection of pieces by the three performers. I thought their concert was a success, and wish Neil Brown (trumpet), Dan Shomper (cello) and Sunny Yoon (piano) all the best.