The Abby Whiteside Foundation
(Whiteside Foundation Website)
Reiko Uchida on Piano
Jennifer Gilbert on Violin
Eric Kim on Cello
Weill Recital Hall
(Carnegie Hall Website)
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 29, 2013
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963): Sonata in E major for Violin and Piano (1935).
Richard Strauss (1864-1949): Sonata in E flat major for Violin and Piano Op. 18
Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Sonata in A flat major for Piano D 557
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Trio in B major for Piano, Violin, and Cello Op. 8
The Abby Whiteside Foundation’s mission is about emotional connections to music with clarity and freedom at the piano. Ms. Whiteside has focused on the physicality of the student’s musical performance, with technical fluency and beauty. Her foundation was formed to train new generations of performers and teachers, and it presents a series at Weill Hall with renowned artists and pianists in their early careers. Tonight’s concert showcased Reiko Uchida, a chamber musician and soloist, who has performed around the globe. She is on Columbia University’s faculty. Two additional musicians, on cello and violin, Eric Kim and Jennifer Gilbert, joined Ms. Uchida for the four chamber works, listed in the program above. Mr. Kim is often seen in national music festivals, and he has served as Principal Cello of US symphonic orchestras. Ms. Gilbert, a director of a summer music program in Japan, has collaborated with Emmanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo, and many more acclaimed musical artists.
The Hindemith work, for violin and piano, opened with a mournful violin, as piano chords weighed down the angst of the strings. The two instruments progressed on separate tempos with elements of merging tonalities. The work ended in a flash of intensity, with bow and keys in sync. I plan to listen to this mesmerizing sonata again soon, for more nuance and detail. The Strauss work for violin and piano featured triumphal and majestic piano chords, followed by treble waterfalls and dramatic fluidity. Tonal reverberations lingered in echoing effects. The wrenching violin theme merged into a lovely melody evocative of a ballad. In both works, prior to intermission, Ms. Uchida and Ms. Gilbert were confident and flawless in drawing out the sentimental and spiritual elements of the duo instrumental themes.
The Schubert work, for solo piano, was highly structured and less impassioned than the others on tonight’s program. Yet, although less compelling, it was clearly challenging, with repetitive, resonant refrains. The Brahms work, for piano, violin, and cello, brought out all three musicians for a tour de force performance of the Trio in B major. The “Allegro con brio” was led by Mr. Kim on cello, soon joined by Ms. Gilbert and Ms. Uchida. The melody was so striking it could have been filmatic. Ms. Gilbert was highlighted in an eloquent solo, with soothing accompaniment from her colleagues. In the “Scherzo: Allegro molto”, the audience heard a string conversation, then full trio, with elongated, ethereal passages. The theme was then reconfigured in differing tempo and key, sounding like a pack of prancing horses. In the “Adagio”, the stirring piano was followed by overlaying tones from drawn out strings on cello and violin, before the piano exuded luminous raindrop intonations. The final “Allegro” had a waltz-like, sweeping introduction and ended in piano flourishes of dynamism. Kudos to all.