When the Trio Solisti started its Telluride Musicfest 10 years ago, its Artistic Director, the stellar Maria Bachmann, explained to us that the Trio is a unique type of ensemble. In string quartets, the whole effort is directed towards creating one integrated instrument, a “sound body”, transliterating from the German Klangkorper. On the other hand, in a trio the aim is to maintain the individuality of the three soloists while creating an integrated “concert.”  The name, “Trio Solisti,” emerged from that idea. And, not surprisingly, the pieces of music composed for this group reflect the idea of virtuosity within a cohesive whole.

Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio is perhaps the most convincing example of the genre, done with their usual flourish by the Trio Solisti at the first Telluride Musicfest concert of the season at the home of Anne and Vincent Mai. One might expect, with three soloists, that the top voice (the violin) and the massive “bottom” (the piano) might dominate the proceedings. Not here! The cellist (Alexis Pia Gerlach) often sounded like the lead. Kudos to Maria for letting that happen!

The contrast of a trio to a quartet (or more) was evident in the Brahms that followed, Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 26, the evening’s closer. That work was executed more like a duet between the piano and the strings, with the violin obviously in the lead. The pianist for this piece was eminently well chosen: Adam Neiman, with his – at all the right moments – exceedingly lithe and tender touch.

The evening began with a real heart-warmer: Schubert’s “Nocturne (or Adagio) for Piano Trio.”

The next house concert in the Telluride Musicfest series is Sunday, July 1, and includes two piano quintets and one Schubert, his “Fantasy in F minor for piano 4 hands,” which brings two favorite world-class performers, Jon Klibonoff of Trio Solisti together with Neiman.

Expect fireworks well before the Fourth of July.

For tickets, call Warner Paige 970-369-1351.


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