Lucid Culture


Seamlessness and Contrast at Trinity Church

Thursday at Trinity Church clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov and pianist Alina Kiryayeva delivered a terrifically enjoyable show of some lesser-known pieces for the two instruments. Shtrykov has a clarity that’s viscerally breathtaking. His quicksilver legato made the streams and frequent torrents of notes seem absolutely effortless even though much of the program was considerably demanding. The only giveaway that he was working hard was how he swayed along with the music at the edge of the stage. Kiryayeva, by contrast, didn’t hold back. As comfortably fluid as her approach was, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to call it an attack, which brought a welcome energy to the bill. Their seamlessness together undoubtedly stems from having worked together since the middle of the previous decade.

Up first was Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro for Piano, Op. 70. It worked as an opener, perfectly pleasant and far more challenging for the performers than the listeners. The piece de resistance was Saint-Saens’ Sonata in E Flat for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 167, an absolutely delicious four-part suite. It’s got Saint-Saens’ signature humor, but also his signature plaintiveness, and it was here where Kiryayeva dug in and found the intensity in every unexpected dynamic shift, especially in the second, allegro animato movement while Shtrykov mined the poignancy in the pensive, lento third movement as well as the counterintuitively misty end of the final allegro. They closed with Weber’s Grand Duo Concertante, Op. 48 which is sort of the classical equivalent of garage rock: an endless series of call-and-response, you can see the changes and ideas coming a mile away, but playing them is another story! Even in the andante con moto second movement, the cascades come in endless waves and the duo met the challenge head on and walked away victoriously after another seemingly endless series of false endings. These works – and these performers – deserve to be better-known.

March 13, 2011 Posted by | classical music, concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment