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Beaux Arts Trio

Friday, December 10, 2004

Group makes beautiful music together

By LAURA STEWART
News-Journal Fine Arts Writer

The Beaux Arts Trio
The Beaux Arts Trio
Members of the Beaux Arts Trio (left to right), violinist, Daniel Hope, pianist, Menahem Pressler, and cellist, Antonio Meneses, perform in concert at Our Lady Lourdes Church in Daytona Beach, Wednesday, December 8, 2004. (Photo: Nigel Cook)

DAYTONA BEACH — What the Beaux Arts Trio did in Wednesday's Central Florida Cultural Endeavors concert sounds simple: They made music, together.

But the degree of togetherness displayed by the trio was far from easy to do, especially when combined with the three musicians' sheer virtuosity.

Led by Menahem Pressler, the pianist who founded the trio in 1955, cellist Antonio Meneses and violinist Daniel Hope didn't content themselves with playing serious music very well.

Instead, they explored and refined substantial trios by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Dvorak in a way that drew out the music's essentials, and made it their own. It was a signal achievement, even for the revered ensemble that's celebrating its 50th birthday next year - and whose last CFCE performance was 21 years ago.

From the first gripping notes through a second movement that became remarkably spare and contemporary to breathless, reeling coda, Beethoven's Trio in D major, Op. 70, No. 1, more than lived up to its nickname, "Ghost." The ensemble's keynote richness, its profoundly satisfying ability to create a resonantly textured, almost tangible sound world, was evident from the start, and never faltered.

Cerebral, visceral and seemingly the most natural thing imaginable, Beethoven's Trio took on a life of its own in the Beaux Arts musicians' hands and, just as important, exquisitely calibrated and balanced contributions to the ensemble.

They genuinely were more than the sum of their parts, and those parts were nothing less than stellar in CFCE's memorable concert. Each musician is an acclaimed soloist; together, in the ensemble, the pianist, cellist and violinist became a powerful, but superbly modulated engine.

Their performance of Shostakovich's Trio No. 2 in E minor, with its raging sonic references to 20th-century genocide, was harrowing, haunting and altogether brilliant.

The blend of classical and modern represented by the program's first half was matched by the vitality, warmth and - paradoxically - elegantly nuanced presentation of Dvorak's Trio in E minor, Op. 90, nicknamed "Dumky."

The massive, ornately articulated work allowed each member of Trio member to stand out, while at the same time emphasizing the musicians' stunning awareness of one another's music, and the illuminating synthesis they constantly created. The effect was of ultimate lucidity, and enduring virtuosity.


Sunday, December 5, 2004

Beaux Arts Trio ‘standout’ in season's series

By LAURA STEWART
News-Journal Fine Arts Writer

The Beaux Arts Trio
The Beaux Arts Trio
Antonio Meneses, left, Menahem Pressler, center, and Daniel Hope comprise the Beaux Arts Trio, scheduled to perform here Wednesday evening. (Photo: Columbia Artists Management )

DELAND — Paul Langston is ready and waiting for Wednesday's concert by the Beaux Arts Trio.

"I never miss them when they're around -- pianist Menahem Pressler and the Trio are the standout in this season's Central Florida Cultural Endeavors' series," the former dean of Stetson University's School of Music said.

"I heard them first at Stetson -- they were part of our Artists and Lecturers series in the '70s and early '80s and were here a couple of time. I had heard about them before, of course -- I had recordings and students who had studied piano with Pressler at Indiana University," said Langston, a noted organist and pianist.

And he could have heard the trio even before then -- the celebrated ensemble first performed at the Berkshire Music Festival on July 13, 1955. Since then, several different artists have moved in and out of the cello and violin chairs, but Pressler is still in place -- and that makes hearing the trio wherever and whenever a must, Langston said.

"I try to be at every concert mainly because of Pressler. He is such a fine pianist, so polished and so well-established, with such great recordings," Langston said. "I'm always satisfied when he plays; he's such an excellent performer and the trio's programs are really outstanding.

"It will be particularly interesting to hear him play the Beethoven -- the trio in D major is one I've played myself, and I'm looking forward to it," said Langston. But that trio by Beethoven, nicknamed "The Ghost," is only the beginning of the pieces the dean is eager to hear.

After Beethoven's Trio in D major, Op. 70, No. 1, the Beaux Arts Trio is planning to present Dmitri Shostakovich's Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 and to end the concert with Antonin Dvorak's "Dumky," his Trio in E minor, Op. 90.

"I know 'Dumky' well but I'm not as familiar with the Shostakovich," said Langston. "So this is something I'll enjoy hearing, and watching -- I wouldn't miss it; I'll be there. And, being a keyboard person myself, I'm certainly eager to hear Pressler again."


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Legendary Beaux Arts Trio Continues Year-Long 50th Anniversary Celebration in Daytona Beach

The Beaux Arts Trio
The Beaux Arts Trio
(from left) Antonio Meneses, Menahem Pressler and Daniel Hope, perform in Daytona Beach on Dec. 8. (Photo: Columbia Artists Management )

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 30, 2004) – Central Florida Cultural Endeavors (CFCE) proudly presents the Beaux Arts Trio in concert, the second production of the Totally Classical! Winter Season ‘04/05. The concert takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, (201 University Boulevard) in Daytona Beach, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Listeners will be delighted by the evening’s array of selections, including Beethoven’s Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 (“Ghost”); Trio, No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67, by Shostakovich and Dvorak’s Trio in E minor, Op. 90 (“Dumky”).

Now celebrating their 50th Anniversary Season, the Beaux Arts Trio continues to perform in the musical tradition, which began with a public debut on July 13, 1955 at the Berkshire Music Festival -- known today as the Tanglewood Music Center. Having set the standard for performance of piano trio literature, the trio will perform at Tanglewood on July 13, 2005.

Pianist and founding member Menahem Pressler, along with his Trio colleagues, violinist Daniel Hope and cellist Antonio Meneses, continue to ignite overwhelming enthusiasm from audiences around the world. From the United States to Russia, from Japan to Germany, from Israel to Brazil, this renowned ensemble's extensive engagements have garnered the highest praise and ovations from all of the world's major music centers.

The Beaux Arts Trio's extensive discography encompasses the entire piano trio literature. The Trio's recordings have earned several coveted awards, including the Prix Mondial du Disque, three Grand Prix du Disques, the Union de la Presse Musicale Belge Caecilia Award, the Gramophone Record of the Year, and the Stereo Review Record of the Year Award. The Beaux Arts Trio’s recording of music by Spanish composers was nominated for a Grammy® in 1998.

In 1994, Mr. Pressler was honored with Chamber Music America's Distinguished Service Award. In 1998, he received the prestigious Gramophone Lifetime Achievement Award and was elected to the Academy of Arts and Letters in 2000. In addition to over 50 recordings with the Beaux Arts Trio, Pressler has compiled over 30 solo recordings. In December 2003, Pressler celebrated his 80th birthday with recitals at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and on the actual date of December 16th, the same as Beethoven’s birthday, at the Library of Congress.

DANIEL HOPE, violinist, was nominated in 2000 for a “Classical Brit” award and won it in 2004 in the “best young classical performer of the year” category for his new recording of Britten and Berg violin concertos on Warner Classics. He was recently voted “Classical Performer 2001” by London’s Evening Standard. A recent review in the American Record Guide states, “with his winning combination of old-world lyricism, beautiful tone, and a sure sense of style, he is a star in the making.”

ANTONIO MENESES, a cellist of international renown, was born in Brazil to a musical family and began to study cello at age 10. During a tour in South America, cellist Antonio Janigro asked Meneses to join his classes in Düsseldorf and in Stuttgart. In 1977, Meneses won First Prize at the International Competition in Munich. In 1982, he was awarded First Prize and the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

For concert tickets, contact the Box Office at (386) 257-7790 or visit at 210 S. Beach St., Daytona Beach or www.fif-lso.org.

Central Florida Cultural Endeavors, Inc. is a non-profit organization that presents a wide variety of cultural events in Volusia and Flagler counties, including a winter season of chamber music. The most prominent CFCE project is the Florida International Festival, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, which takes place July 15-30, 2005.


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