Trio Casals and Carnegie Hall: A Look Into Navona Records’ MOTO Series

It’s a moment many performers only dream of. That backstage buzz of energy, met by the hum of audience murmurs and the anticipation of composers on the edges of their seats, waiting to hear the premiere of the pieces that began as ideas. And premiered, of all places, on the legendary stage of Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, in the heart of New York City. Bows are rosined, pianos are tuned, scores are prepared – for many artists this might be the most unnerving moment of their careers. 

For Trio Casals, this is a moment of coming home.

Trio Casals, aside from being a dynamic presence in the contemporary chamber music world, is the “house band,” so to speak, of the Navona Records series, MOTO. MOTO is a series of multi-composer albums, in which composers from all backgrounds submit scores to be considered for inclusion. When creating this series, PARMA and Trio Casals wanted to take the presentation of these works a step further, and bring them to life onstage. And what better place for a live premiere than one of the world’s most prestigious concert halls?

Street view of Carnegie Hall

MOTO PERPETUO, kicking off the series, was released in 2013, followed by the equally complex and impactful MOTO CONTINUO (2015) and MOTO BELLO (2018). From beauty in motion to dances in dissonance, the Trio delivered what the individual composer was envisioning: a unique look into movement in all its various states. The fourth installment, MOTO QUARTO, releases July 12 on Navona Records, followed by its accompanying world premiere performance at Weill Hall on July 20 at 8 PM. This eclectic, daring program serves as a welcome challenge for the Trio to once again introduce the latest in contemporary chamber music to audiences of all kinds, and, as pianist Anna Kislitsyna has stated, to further build and sustain the genre. Its Carnegie premiere, like those of MOTO albums past, promises to be a powerful experience – violinist Sylvia Ahramjian describes it to be a moving feeling to be one of the ensembles in a long line of legendary artists and performances that have taken space onstage at Carnegie Hall.

Post-performance greetings after the MOTO BELLO concert (May 2018)

In preparation for the release of MOTO QUARTO, PARMA took time to speak with Trio Casals cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, where we discussed the history, experiences, and hopes tied into the MOTO series and the performances at Carnegie Hall:


Composers on MOTO QUARTO
Top (left to right): Allyson B. Wells, L Peter Deutsch, Mathew Fuerst, Christopher Brakel
Bottom (left to right): David Nisbet Stewart, Emma-Ruth Richards, Keith Allan Kramer, Joanne D. Carey, Clare Shore

And what comes next for the Trio and MOTO? We just wrapped sessions this past May at Futura Productions for the fifth installment in the series, and plans are in place for the sixth album. 

Trio Casals at Futura Productions (Roslindale MA)

From the recording room to the concert hall and everywhere in between, chamber music and the composer-performer connection are alive and well.


Click here for information and tickets to the July 20th concert.

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