Eliot Trio: Warm Reading of Martinu

Article excerpt

WHY is it that musicians and conductors feel that it is necessary to reassure audiences that certain music, with which they may not be familiar, will not offend?

This presumes that the concert-attending public will be hostile toward any unknown composer or composition, and/or that a brief explanation will help gain acceptance.

When John Sant' Ambrogio prefaced his performance of Bohuslav Martinu's 1942 "Sonata No. 2 for Viollincello and Piano" on Tuesday evening at Steinberg Hall with an introduction, I was surprised, as Martinu's music is some of the easiest of the mid-20th century.

Cellist Sant' Ambrogio and pianist Seth Carlin then proceeded to give a warm reading of this dark, earthy work. Martinu writes equally complex parts for each instrument, giving both Carlin and Sant' Ambrogio ample opportunity to showcase their abilities to bring out the best of Martinu.

This was, however, the annual concert of the Eliot Trio at Washington University's Steinberg Hall, and the trio also includes violinist Nina Bodnar. …


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