Thursday, June 28, 2018
Trio Clavio Plays Modern Music
There ever comes a new generation of music makers. And inevitably they may see things slightly differently than others that came before. That is the nature of history, music history and it is the nature of creative freedom. So today we consider a trio of young Czech women who set out in 2013 to perform music in ways that reflected their own distinctive musical outlooks, yet in the process to create a real blend, to make a threesome that thrived as a unity in distinct parts as a whole.
Trio Clavio was born. And now with a self-titled 2-CD set (ArcoDiva UP 0204) we get to experience what they can do with a program of varied Modern Music.
Trio Clavio are Lucie Soutorova Valcova on piano, Lucia Fulka Kopsova on violin, and Jana Cernohouzova on clarinet. Together they excel and come to us in a dazzling light of sound.
The program is an engaging mix of the familiar and the less familiar.
Trio Clavio put their beautifully idiomatic character masks on from the start with the trio suite from Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat." The suite boils it all down to the music's very essence and Trio Clavio give us a sparkling, very characteristic reading that is in its own way perfect. The execution is not just a matter of the right notes, weighted rightly. It breathes in the whimsical essence and makes it all into a palpable magic. This performance is worth the price of admission alone! Here is a younger generation of musicians who feels so comfortable with this music, a sort of, pardon the phrase, Ethnic Modernism because they are beautifully talented and have breathed in the two strands to make the music seem as it should, ORGANIC and now very much a part of us. Hear this and you may well smile broadly. I did.
Yet there is much more. Bartok's "Contrasts" gets a sterling performance devoid of some of the mannerisms and pretensions one can hear from earlier recordings.
"Trio for Clarinet, Violin & Piano" by Paul Schoenfeld (b. 1947) ends the first CD with a Jewish tinged music that again seems completely idiosyncratic in the hands of the trio. Jana Cernohouzova on clarinet is something to behold. Her Klezmer inflected reading is a joy to hear! This is moving and substantial music in every way.
CD2 showcases four more living composers with engaging and vibrant fare. There is Lukas Hurnik (b. 1967) and his "Alphabet," Martin Brunner (b. 1983) and "Little Children," Juraj Filas (1955) and "'Chiaroscuro' Trio," and finally Sylvie Bodorova (1954) and "Dancing Mountain."
Current time restrictions this morning prevent me from engaging in a detailed breakdown of the second half of the program. Suffice to say that the momentum that builds on CD1 does not flag in the least. Instead there is a wealth of nicely turned, even brilliant compositional fare played with a musicality that never fails to delight.
Melodic Modernism is in great hands with Trio Clavio.
So bravo! Trio Clavio is a wonder! The music and its presentation on this set is as good as anything you might hear in such a trio. A beautiful milestone in chamber music this is to me. Do not fail to hear it. I look forward to whatever they might do in future. This is a must for Modern Music fans!