The program features the return of Trio Cleonice, the brilliant young ensemble from Boston, joined by Ellen de Pasquale and Benjamin Hoffman, violins; Jered Egan, bass, and the young flutist Jane Carpenter. Electric Earths co-directors Laura Gilbert, flute and Jonathan Bagg, viola will also perform.
The concert starts on a passionate note, with a trio by the larger-than-life Romantic figure Bedrich Smetana. The Czech composer championed the Bohemian spirit in all that he wrote, and this trio, a memorial to his daughter who died of scarlet fever, exemplifies his penchant for expressing his own life’s tragedies, as well as its triumphs, in his music.
The music continues with two of Bach’s most celebrated works: the Brandenburg Concerti Nos 4 and 5. Bach wrote the six Brandenburg Concerti for varied ensembles early in his career, a kind of musical calling card demonstrating his virtuosity as an instrumental composer.
Bedrich Smetana’s Piano Trio in g minor
Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No 4 & 5
Trio Cleonice has quickly established itself as one of the most creative, communicative, and exciting young ensembles in the United States. Violinist Ari Isaacman-Beck, cellist Gwen Krosnick, and pianist Emely Phelps formed Trio Cleonice in 2008 at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival; the group enjoys a diverse repertoire that spans early trios of Mozart and Beethoven through romantic masterworks and new pieces, including commissions, for the genre. Trio Cleonice has appeared at Boston’s Jordan Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at Oberlin Conservatory and Elmira College, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and NYU’s La Maison Française. They have held performance and teaching residencies in Blue Hill, Maine and in Frederick, Maryland. The trio was top prizewinner at the 2012 J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition in Stamford, Connecticut, and appeared as part of the Treetops Chamber Music Society’s 2012-2013 calendar. The group has appeared up and down the east coast, with residencies in Blue Hill, Maine and Frederick, Maryland, and concerts in New York and Philadelphia, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Woodstock, Vermont, and Jacksonville, Florida. Since the group’s first year together they start each season with a pair of concerts at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Castine, Maine. Works by contemporary American composers form a major part of Trio Cleonice’s repertoire. They have worked extensively with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Richard Wernick on his first Piano Trio, including premiering previously-unperformed sections of the work. The group has commissioned a second trio from Wernick, premiered in Jordan Hall in March 2013.