Review: Nuanced playing elevates Montrose Trio in Chamber Music Society concert
By Sarah Hutchings
The Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach concluded its 2021-22 season with a performance from the Montrose Trio at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach.
The trio consists of Jon Kimura Parker on piano, Martin Beaver on violin and Clive Greensmith on cello. Their program consisted of two major works in the piano trio repertoire, the Trio No. 1 (in B-flat, D. 898) of Franz Schubert, and the “Archduke” Trio (Piano Trio No. 6 in B-flat, Op. 97) of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Parker gave a delightful introduction to the Schubert, stressing the Austrian composer’s mastery of melody.
The scalar pattern in the introduction of the Schubert trio set the mood of the concert. Greensmith, ever a gracious and energetic collaborator in the chamber music setting, injected much of the lyricism into the movement, marked Allegro moderato. The cello’s mellow sound, often reedy in the higher registers, was dictated by precise bowing as Greensmith moved and breathed with the music.
His playing is reminiscent of vocal music in its song-like quality and presence. The movement continued to be compact and precise, with Parker executing beautiful scalar passages with thundering articulation on the piano.
In the second movement (Andante un poco mosso) Beaver added color and nuance, particularly in the darker moments that ascended to a slight climax. Each was full of climactic hills and demure valleys in its formal structure. The piano truly manifested its colorful relationship with the strings in this movement. Parker’s modified gentle touch allowed the upper registers to ring, blending beautifully in the acoustic space.
Beaver and Greensmith hit their stride in the Scherzo, trading off staccato articulation and following a call-and-response pattern with the piano. In the Finale, a rondo, Beaver found his own song-like quality with smooth vibrato, as the ensemble reprised the original themes for a passionate conclusion.
The trio concluded the evening to enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation.