Piano trio performs at Lacroute arts series concert

Kellie Bowen, Staff Writer

Even though there were only three instruments, it sounded as if an orchestra performed three masterpieces on Sunday evening. Pianist Albert Kim, violinist Julie Rosenfeld and cellist Diane Chaplin performed three trios – one by Ludwig van Beethoven, one by David Baker and the last by Dmitri Shostakovich. As the concert played on, the music got darker.
The first song, Beethoven’s Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97, also known as “Archduke” was a lively and beautiful piece. Archduke Rudolph or Austria was one of Beethoven’s students, thus Beethoven dedicated several pieces to him. However this was Beethoven’s last trio.
The next piece was called “Roots II” by Baker, who is a Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University. While the strong dissonance and clashing of notes of this series of songs did not make sense to the ear, the trio performed the pieces like they should not be written any other way. The “Boogie-Woogie” movement was not light-hearted and fluffy at all, but the auditorium was filled with unease from the nerving performance.
Lastly, the Shostakovich Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67 was a very haunting performance that captured the elements of World War II. The collection was initially composed in honor of Shostakovich’s friend, who, at the time, suddenly died of a heart attack. It was out of sorrow, in memory of, and tinted with the burden of senseless violence of war. In the program for the concert, Julie Rosenfeld wrote that the finale was “a horrifying ‘Dance of Death’ depicting doomed Jews forced by their Nazi tormentors to dance as they were machine-gunned.” The concert had taken a turn towards the dark.
The performance was a phenomenal ensemble of piano and strings. The music kept the full auditorium on its toes. The trio introduced us to something familiar, something strange, and something haunting. All, however, are relics of music history.