Juilliard ChamberFest 2015
(Juilliard Music Web Page)
Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op.34
Joo Eun Lee, violin - Sophie Pariot, violin
Haw Yuan Cheng, viola - Taylor Skiff, cello
Wei Lin Chang, piano
Beethoven Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, “Ghost”
Qing Yu Chen, violin – Noah Lee, cello
Nadia Azzi, piano
Jerome Lowenthal (Brahms/Beethoven)
Li Lin (Brahms)
155 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023
Media Relations: Gloria Gottschalk
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 17, 2015
One of my longtime, favorite chamber works is Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34. Today I heard the Brahms in a matinee performance, part of Juilliard’s ChamberFest 2015, a series of eight concerts in three theaters, all free to the community. Joo Eun Lee and Sophie Pariot were on violins, with Haw Yuan Cheng on viola, Taylor Skiff on cello, and We Lin Chang on piano. Jerome Lowenthal, renowned classical pianist, and a member of the Juilliard piano faculty, coached the Brahms with Li Lin, who is on the Juilliard violin faculty. The students played beyond their years. The “Allegro non troppo-Poco sostenuto-Tempo I”, first movement, opened with the gripping, dramatic theme, infusing the Hall with musical imagery of a European salon. Mr. Skiff’s cello solo was poignant and eloquent with deep, tonal refrains. The violins and viola blended beautifully. The “Andante, un poco adagio” second movement was waltz-like with a swirling, esoteric theme.
Mr. Chang’s piano beckoned the strings in the “Scherzo, Allegro” third movement, with a mesmerizing, punctuated, raging tempo. The audience was intently respectful, with many relatives and friends filling the rows. This movement ended with dervish dynamics, replete with momentum and yearning. A surreal cello introduction to “Finale, poco sostenuto-Allegro non troppo-Tempo I-Presto, non troppo”, the final, fourth movement, added mournful depth. Ms. Lee, Ms. Pariot, and Mr. Cheng, on violins and viola, were each focused, drawing elegant musicality from the strings. Mr. Lowenthal was seated front row center, with full emotional and professional support for his students.
Mr. Lowenthal solo coached the second work, Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, “Ghost”. Once again, he sat front and center, with supportive eye contact. Performing were Qing Yu Chen on violin, Noah Lee on cello, and Nadia Azzi on piano. The “Allegro vivace e con brio” first movement reveals a gorgeous, languorous, cello solo, amidst a frenetic melody. The trio of students was tightly tuned and perfectly synchronized, a tribute to Mr. Lowenthal’s coaching. Ms. Chen, on violin, and Ms. Azzi, on piano, shared (and shifted between) reinventions of fervent phrases. The “Ghost” motif occurs in the “Largo assai ed espressivo” second movement, with Ms. Azzi’s tiny, whispering piano “steps”, as the cello and violin surround the piano with surreal tones, pensive and lamenting. The “presto” third movement finale adds flourish, as the strings finish the piano phrases in a sparkling tempo. Kudos to today’s eight showcased students, and kudos to Jerome Lowenthal and Li Lin.