In performance: Diaz Trio
Diaz Trio offers high-class fun, dreary Rochberg
by Robert Battey
The Diaz Trio, though hardly a full-time ensemble (not even a website!), is the country's only top-level professional string trio, and thus the Library of Congress hosted them last Thursday night. Informal in dress and deportment, and less than fully polished, the group gave energetic readings of the Dohnányi Serenade and the Beethoven G major trio.
(read more after the jump)
Guest pianist Rodrigo Ojeda joined violinist Andrés Cárdenes (the concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra) in a good-faith performance of George Rochberg's violin sonata, commissioned by the Library's McKim Fund in the late 1980's. Likely it was the programming of this work that led to the Trio's engagement; I can't imagine that Cárdenes has this dreary piece in his limited recital repertoire. A large, four-movement essay, the Sonata is not a failure, but neither is it compelling in any way. It sets forth one texture at a time -- agitato, doloroso, whatever -- stays like that for a while, and then switches. The music is rarely developing or "becoming" anything; it's just a string of well-crafted episodes. If there was any thematic unity to the narrative, it escaped these ears.
In the trios, the three players (each a true virtuoso) went their own way, creating a frisson of excitement when everything aligned. Violist Roberto Diaz (former principal violist of the National Symphony) was especially impressive, since he now has a full-time job running the Curtis Institute. There was no rust whatever on his administrator fingers; the sound poured out with confidence and élan. Perhaps more rehearsal would have led to a cleaner performance, but hearing artists of this caliber (the third member is cellist Andres Diaz) up close is still fun.
-- Robert Battey
Posted by: snaketime1 | December 14, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.