'Threesome:' Gems of Music Literature

Manila Bulletin, May 22, 2003 | Go to article overview

'Threesome:' Gems of Music Literature


YOU dont always need 100 Men and A Girl (a symphony orchestra) to hear music steeped in beauty like the night and starry skies, whether instrumental or vocal (remember the movie with pretty, teener American warbler, Deanna Durbin?).

Sweetly melodic for the most part, and filled with Old World charm, grace and refinement, was the musical fare served us recently by the Clarion Chamber Ensemble "Intimate Threesome," at the Francisco Santiago Hall, the "home of splendid music," by the Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation and its knowledgeable heads President Antonio Samson and Executive Director Armando Baltazar.

Indeed, the program - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Viola in E-flat Major, K498" Kegelstatt - (Andante, Menuette - Trio, Rondo - Allegretto), Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka's "Tio Pathetique for Clarinet, Bassoon, and Piano in D Minor" (Allegro Moderato, Scherzo vivacissimo - Trio Meno Mosso, Largo - Maestoso risoluto, Allegro con spirito), and Luigi Boccherini's "Quintet for Guitar and Strings in D Major, G 488" (Allegro Maestoso, Pastorale, Grave Assai, and Fandango) - constituted a distinct contrast to the deafening din often characterizing contemporary music.

Well-balanced were the three instruments: piano (Mary Anne Espina), Clarinet (Ariel Sta. Ana), Viola (Donald Kidd). And Mozart was at his child-like harmonious best. The odds are, the green-with-envy villain, Antonio Salieri, had not yet burst upon the scene, to destroy its seraphic calm.

It was in Glinka's "Trio Pathetique for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano in D Minor" that from gentle charm, the music started to become pulsating and passionate (specially in the piano's strings of passion) - with the bassoon lending the needed depth and ballast. Bassoon (Noel Singcuenco), Clarinet (Rey Lazaro) and Piano (Mary Anne Espina).

It was in Boccherini's "Quintet for Guitar and Strings in D Major, G 488" that lively dance was featured. Did it lack a bass guitar? Perhaps. Still it was an appealing piece, with these movements Allegro Maestoso, Pastorale. Grave Assai, Fandango for Violin (Reginald and Olga Pineda), Viola (Donald Kidd), Cello (Arnold Josue), Guitar (Alvin Salenga) and for added effects, the Tambourine/Percussion (Ariel Sta. Ana) and the Castanets (Rey Lazaro) - (all "rolls" - no "golpes?").

Too, to the music lover/steadfast truly fascinating was the wide variety of instruments put into use. Not to mention likewise both enlightening and refreshing. An event not to have been missed, in other words.

No wonder the audience called for an encore and Fandango was played once again with the tambourine and castanets adding to the generally happy mood.

The Composers - from Program notes

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as everyone knows, was God's "Divine Genius." Mozart's fame is based on two different frames of references: firstly, being the most famous child prodigy in music history (as both performer (piano) and composer); and secondly, his unquestioned brilliance as composer of classical symphonies, operas, chamber music, sonatas, church music, and concerti for various instruments. …

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