Eroica Trio - Pasión

Posted By MiOd On Monday, July 29, 2013 Under
Among the best-known piano trios, the Eroica Trio is also one of the most successful all-women chamber ensembles in the world. Winners of the 1991 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Competition, the ensemble went on to a successful debut at Lincoln Center and several tours of the United States, Europe, and Asia. The trio quickly gained a reputation for passion and excitement in its performances and for innovative programs.

Pianist Erika Nickrenz, who began playing piano at age six and performed her first concerto at 11, has received the Rockefeller Award and has been featured in the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center.

Australian violinist Susie Park, who replaced founding member Adela Peña in 2006, has won top honors in the Indianapolis, Menuhin, and Wieniawski International Violin Competitions, and has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony, as well as with the Korean KBS Orchestra and orchestras in Sydney and Melbourne. Cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio has won many international competitions and received a medal at the International Tchaikovsky Violoncello Competition. She has toured extensively as a soloist and played with orchestras in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, St. Louis, Moscow, and Izmir. She has released several solo CDs and joined in crossover performances with Rufus Wainwright, VAST, Angela McCluskey, and hip-hop artist Beatrice.

The group took its name from Ludwig van Beethoven's "Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Eroica." It is one of the most active piano trios in the field of orchestral performance, and plays more concerts of Beethoven's "Triple Concerto" than any other trio. It commissioned a triple concerto from composer Kevin Kaska, which was premiered in 2001 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. The Eroica Trio also premiered "Tango for Seven" by Raimundo Penaforte, composed for an innovative combination of string trio plus string quartet, and which was premiered with the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

Recording for Angel/EMI Classics, the Eroica Trio's repertoire has included the music of Maurice Ravel, Sergey Rachmaninov, Dmitry Shostakovich, and Antonin Dvorák, as well as lighter fare by George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Astor Piazzolla, and Mark O'Connor.

It seems compulsory nowadays to slap a snazzy title onto every classical CD, even if the musical content all too rarely lives up to the billing. How refreshing, then, to encounter Pasión, in which the Eroica Trio's hot-blooded performances make good on the title's promise. As with the group's previous albums, this program is a creative mixture of old and new. The Spanish-flavored First Trio of Joaquin Turina (1882-1949) has been recorded by the Beaux Arts Trio and a few other distinguished threesomes, but it's still something of a rarity. The Eroica basks in the music's intense Iberian atmosphere, making one wonder why such an evocative and enticing work isn't a concert staple. Climbing aboard the ever-growing tango bandwagon, the trio offers four miniature masterpieces by Astor Piazzolla: "Primavera Porteña," "Oblivion," "Revolucionario," and "Otoño Porteño." The great tango master surely would have approved of the Eroica's performance. Unlike many classical musicians who treat this fiery music with kid gloves, these women play with abandon, wrenching the emotion out of every phrase. (The arrangements are by cellist José Bragato, who played with Piazzolla's octet during the late 1950s.) Raimundo Penaforte's An Eroica Trio, composed in 1999 especially for this ensemble, pays homage to Piazzolla in its alternately vehement and sentimental first movement. The bluesy second movement was inspired by the passacaglia of Ravel's Piano Trio, and the rollicking finale is a tribute to Penaforte's countryman, the Brazilian songwriter Capiba. Pasión closes on a more tenderly romantic note with Penaforte's transcription of the haunting aria from Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.

(01). Primavera Porteña
(02). Oblivion
(03). Revolucionano
(04). Otono Porteno
(05). Premier Trio, Op. 35: I. Prelude et fugue: Lento
(06). Premier Trio, Op. 35: II. Theme et variations Andante
(07). Premier Trio, Op. 35: III. Sonate: Allegro
(08). An Eroica Trio: I. Astor
(09). An Eroica Trio: II. Maurice
(10). An Eroica Trio: III. Capiba
(11). Aria (Cantilena) from Bachianas Brasileiras

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