Dama Trio will perform at the Cayman Islands Baptist Church on Pedro Castle Road in Savannah on Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. The newly-formed Italian trio, the members of which are all rising musical talents in their own right, features violinist Maristella Patuzzi, pianist Davide Muccioli and cellist Davide Pettigiani.
At the start of the concert, students from the Cayman Arts Festival’s after-school music programs will also be performing, no doubt inspired by a master class the young musicians from Clifton Hunter and John Gray High Schools, and George Town and Red Bay Primary Schools, attended on Wednesday at Clifton Hunter with the group.
“The class went so well, the trio performed for the kids, and were also tutoring them on things like technique, and afterward, the kids were all over them with questions, it was great,” said Cayman Arts Festival Executive Director Marius Gaina.
“The children we have playing at the concert are all skilled and talented musicians themselves, this was a real treat for them.”
Mr. Gaina said the trio’s visit to Cayman was made possible by Cayman Arts Festival patron Gaye Randolph. The musicians from the Italian trio will performing the chamber music classics, Johannes Brahms’s “Piano Trio No. 2 in C major, Op. 87,” and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50.” Tickets for the event are US$40 for adults and US$10 for students.
According to the Hyperion Records website, Brahms began work on the piano trio in 1880 and only completed all four movements two years later; it was published in December 1882 as his Op 87.
“The opening Allegro of this C major Trio contains an unusual wealth of thematic material: an imperious first subject given out in octaves by the violin and cello alone; … a further smooth idea played by the strings in octaves; and a gracious closing theme in dotted rhythm,” the site states.
“The slow movement is a set of variations on a melancholy theme in A minor which again finds the violin and cello playing in octaves. The theme itself, with its characteristic ‘Scotch snap’ rhythm, shows Brahms’s continued fascination with the Hungarian gypsy style, though the penultimate variation, in the major, transforms it into a smooth, expansive melody of great beauty. The Scherzo is in the minor, too: a mysterious, fleeting piece whose predominant dynamic marking is pianissimo. As for the finale … it is one of those good-humoured rondos (with more than a hint of variation form thrown in for good measure) at which Brahms was so adept.”
According to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts website, Tchaikovsky composed his “Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50” in memory of his friend and mentor from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Nikolai Rubinstein, who died in 1881, and which features a prominent piano part in honor of Rubinstein’s instrument.
The site states Tchaikovsky’s friends and colleagues pianist-composer Sergei Taneyev, violinist Ivan Hrímaly´ and cellist Wilhelm Fitzenhagen first performed the trio to a private audience in 1882 on the anniversary of Rubinstein’s death, and after the composer made some adjustments performed it publicly at the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society on Oct. 30, 1882.
“Tchaikovsky disposed the Piano Trio, his only chamber work for piano and strings, in two large movements: a huge sonata-allegro and an extended set of variations, a formal concept reminiscent of Beethoven’s late sonatas,” the site states.
The opening movement’s mournful main theme is moving testimony to Tchaikovsky’s grief over the loss of his mentor, while, according to the site, the second movement’s theme is said to have been inspired by a picnic Tchaikovsky and his Conservatory colleagues enjoyed in the woods near Moscow. A group of peasants who were passing by were invited to join in and performed songs and dances for their hosts, the peasants’ music providing the theme for the second movement.