PARMA Takes Manhattan: Trio Casals at Carnegie Hall

Concert Poster

Tuesday, May 12th saw PARMA’s return to Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall with one of our longtime partners, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, for the first time since 2013.

The concert was the second of two performances to promote MOTO CONTINUO, a new album of works for piano trio and solo cello by composers Osias Wilenski, Nicholas Ascioti, Diane Jones, John A. Carollo, Robert Fleisher, and Brian Noyes.

The program featured a diverse array of moods, textures, and timbres that effectively highlighted the character of the composers’ work, as well as the versatility of Trio Casals’ playing.

Ovidiu was joined onstage by his colleagues in Trio Casals: violinist Sylvia Ahramjian and pianist Anna Kislitsyna. The performance in New York culminated over a year of preparations that included Trio Casals rehearsing each piece for the recording studio as well as the stage.

Many of the composers featured on the program were present at Weill Hall, with some travelling from as far as Wales and Hawaii to be there. Each composer was invited to the stage to introduce their piece and to share some insight in their inspiration behind its creation, adding another layer of depth to the project.

Trio Casals during sound check at Weill Recital Hall

The virtuosity of Osias Wilenski’s “Variations for Trio” kicked off the program with a great sense of momentum, leading smoothly into Diane Jones’s Copland- and Shostakovich-influenced “Three Songs.” Composer John A. Carollo praised Trio Casals for bringing about “one of the best interpretations of my music I’ve ever heard,” prior to the performance of his dramatic and moving “Piano Trio No. 1.”

“Ma mère,” Robert Fleisher’s reinterpretation of “Jeux de Vagues” from Debussy’s La mer, opened the second act with alternately calm and rapid melodic flourishes between brief moments of silence. Nicholas Ascoti’s “Adirondack Tableau” continued the bright musical reflection that he began with “Adirondack Meditation” on 2013’s MOTO PERPETUO. The evening concluded with Brian Noyes’s “Piano Trio Op. 38,” a piece that spans the entire dynamic spectrum, gradually building from whispering harmonics in the introduction to a powerfully aggressive climax before regressing towards a softer yet engaging finale.

L-R: Sylvia Ahramjian, Brian Noyes, Anna Kislitsyna,
and Ovidiu Marinescu, after the concert

The concert was well-received by audience members and composers alike, with the audience giving a strong ovation at the end of the show while the composers met the musicians onstage for a final bow. From the opening passages of Osias Wilenski’s “Variations for Trio” to the final resolution of Brian Noyes’s “Piano Trio Op. 38,” Trio Casals gave a highly energetic performance of the entire program, weaving through each piece with artistry and emotion.

MOTO CONTINUO will be released on Navona Records on July 10th. In the meantime, you can check out some more information about the album and some audio samples here.

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