Argos Piano Trio - February 9, 2014

The Argos Trio's interpretations have been described as "charismatic, fiery, and unabashed" - these traits, and more, will be on display in this evening's repertoire! Violinist Liana Koteva Kirvan, cellist Lars Kirvan, and pianist Chiao-Wen Cheng will present the music of Beethoven (one of the first great composers of piano trios) as well as the powerful second piano trio of Shostakovich. Violist Melissa Matson will join the Argos for the magnificent Piano Quartet in c minor of Brahms. 

Liana Koteva Kirvan - violin
Lars Kirvan - cello
Chiao-Wen Cheng - piano
with Melissa Matson - viola
Trio in E-flat major, Op. 1 No. 1 - Ludwig van Beethoven
Trio in E minor, Op. 67  - Dmitri Shostakovich 
Piano Quartet in c minor, Op. 60 - Johannes Brahms

Sunday February 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm

The evening will open with Beethoven’s delightful and youthful Piano Trio in E-flat major, Op. 1 No. 1, written in 1793 and dedicated to his patron Prince Lichnowsky. The four-movement work goes beyond the influence of his work with Haydn by experimenting with more diverse tonalities, sophisticated development of motives, and a more equitable interplay between the piano and the strings. You’ll certainly enjoy the romp through the perky fourth movement!

As a fairly complete contrast to the first work, the Argos has chosen to present one of the masterpieces of the twentieth-century:  Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67. Written in 1944 in the midst of World War II and dedicated to the memory of his close friend Ivan Sollertinsky, the trio expresses the gamut of human emotion: from the haunting opening with cello harmonics to the frenetic, no-holds-barred scherzo; and from the tragic harmonies of the slow movement chaconne to the klezmer-like juxtaposition of tragedy and comedy in the final movement. It is art like this which makes us all grateful for the ability of music to communicate that which is felt so deeply yet cannot be captured in words.

Following intermission we will turn to the monumental Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60 which Johannes Brahms began writing in 1855 yet did not complete for twenty years.  His thorough re-working of the piece included changing the key from C-sharp minor to C minor, and adding the scherzo as an additional movement - and led him to describe the quartet as “half old, half new - the whole thing isn’t worth much!” We certainly don’t agree with his self-deprecation, for the nobility and drama of this powerful work place it easily among the most admired works in the repertoire.

And for any YouTube followers: you may be interested to see this very cool video which “animates” the score of the finale (copy and paste into your browser): 

Please plan to join us on Sunday February 9 in support of live chamber music as well as social justice at First Unitarian Church (25% of the evening's ticket revenue will be donated directly to the Micro-Finance and Community Development task force)!


$10 general / $5 student / $20 family max
Click here for Ticket Information

First Unitarian Church
220 Winton Road South 
Rochester NY 14610

Ample free parking
Handicap Accessible

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