Friends of Chamber Music

Beaux Arts Trio

Tuesday April 20, 1999 at the Vancouver Playhouse


by Giorgia Quadrelli-Moraw

Friends of Chamber Music once again had the honor to host the world acclaimed Beaux Arts Trio. This was, however, the first appearance of the newly modified group of musicians here in Vancouver. Originally founded in 1955 by Bernard Greenhouse, Daniel Guilet and Menahem Pressler, the Trio has twice replaced its violinist and cellist and recently welcomed Young Uck Kim on the violin and Antonio Meneses on the cello.

Menahem Pressler, the only member left from the original Trio, is one of the most remarkable piano performers and teachers of his time. He has been honored with the title of "Distinguished Professor of Music" at Indiana University.

Young Uck Kim is from South Korea; he officially started his career in 1963 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and since then has become an internationally acclaimed violist both in solo performances and as a Chamber musician. Antonio Meneses comes from Brazil; raised to play the cello since early age he is a member of many of the world's orchestras and is often involved in Chamber music performances.

The program featured three very contrasting pieces belonging to different time periods: Beethoven's opus 11-Trio in B major followed by Ravel's Trio in A minor and to close with Dvorak's Opus 65-Trio in F minor. All the works were intense and profound and conveyed to the audience the highest power of expression. From the main theme each of them developed into powerful variations: Allegro, Adagio, Allegro ma non troppo.

The three instruments dialogued beautifully with each other, carrying on the melody with perfect harmony, particularly Pressler, whose spiritual involvement and physical gestures expressed more than words could ever describe.

Although the audience consisted mostly of senior citizens, it is a misconception that chamber music is no fun for young people. It is perhaps not as cheap as going to a movie, but every once in a while it feels really good just being able to sit down, relax and being carried away by the classical notes of excellent musicians like the Beaux Arts Trio.