In the program the Benedetti-Elschenbroich-Grynyuk Trio will share Tuesday in the auditorium at Cabell Hall, audience members can explore what Leonard Elschenbroich called “a different experience in time.”
The Tuesday Evening Concert Series event will include “Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 100 (D. 929)” by Franz Schubert and “Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50” by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky. Listeners can expect to get a different sense of duration because of the composers’ contrasting approaches to time, the cellist said.
Elschenbroich described the two compositions as “monumental in very different ways. The Schubert is very expansive; it’s very classical. There’s almost a slow motion you should feel when you’re playing it. Whereas, in the Tchaikovsky, the journey of the passages goes faster than any trio piece I know.
“They both deal with time in a very unconventional and extreme way. Traditionally, the Tchaikovsky would be the second-half piece on a program, but it’s interesting that the Tchaikovsky is actually shorter. They couldn’t be more different in the way time is approached.”
The Tchaikovsky trio also represents a sentimental moment in time for the three respected artists.
“The Tchaikovsky trio was the first thing we played together as a trio 15 years ago,” Elschenbroich said. “At first, we would play it, and then each of us did a sonata.”
Revisiting a work they first played in 2008 offered the members a chance to look back and forward in time.
“We decided it was time to revisit it,” Elschenbroich said. “We really wanted to bring that back, because it was so important to us as a trio.”
Elschenbroich said he looks forward to feedback from audience members to learn their responses to “even in pieces of similar length, how different time seems.”
The musical adventure in time means there won’t be time Tuesday for something meaningful to the musicians: the presence of a contemporary composition.
“We usually have one piece that’s new,” Elschenbroich said. “Usually, the adventure or the experiment is the new or contemporary piece.” But with the contrasts in time presented by the Schubert and Tchaikovsky works, “there is enough adventure and challenge for us and the audience,” he added with a chuckle.
Elschenbroich, who performs on a 1693 Matteo Gofriller cello known as “Ex-Leonard Rose-Ex-Alfredo Piatti,” said it’s important to the musicians “to expand the repertoire and expose the audiences to what is new.”
Works old and new have a way of informing and influencing each other during a concert, which is part of the magic of live performance for classical music fans. He said he loves to see “new light shed on old works so they stay contemporary; it’s important to the future of classical music.”
What he isn’t as happy to see is the way contemporary works often are programmed with what feels like haste, “as if you’re getting it out of the way,” Elschenbroich said. The fact that so many contemporary compositions are so short in duration adds to that sensation of brevity.
“The responsibility lies with the orchestras and the commissioners who are afraid of a piece that’s too long,” Elschenbroich said. He hopes that the ensembles and organizations commissioning new music will realize that “a contemporary piece can be rewarding.”
Elschenbroich said he looks forward to returning to the Tuesday Evening Concert Series audience, having enjoyed a previous performance and missed one that had to be canceled during the COVID-19 lockdown. “We really enjoy the venue and the audience,” he said.
Principal underwriters for Tuesday’s concert are Robert and Janis Chevalier and Virginia National Bank. Parking in Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmet Street will be free to concert-goers who exit the garage within an hour after the event. Learn more about the Tuesday series at tecs.org. For remaining tickets, which range from $30 to $12, contact the UVa Arts Box Office at artsboxofficevirginia.edu or (434) 924-3376.
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