The SUNY Buffalo Department of Music (whose concert will be tonight in Slee Hall on the Amherst Campus) has once again joined forces with the Buffalo Chamber Music Society (whose concert last night was at Kleinhans Music Hall) to present pairings of music by two giants of classical – Ludwig van Beethoven and Dmitri Shostakovich – performed by the Gryphon Trio (piano-violin-cello).
The concerts began last night March 13 in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall, and a different pairing of piano trios will be heard tonight, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on the UB North Campus. The easiest way to access the campus is off Millersport Highway. If you are looking at the UB Center for the Arts, the Alumni Arena is to your right, and Lippes Concert Hall will be on your left.
The program on March 13 featured the most “advanced” of the first works Beethoven ever published, his Trio in C minor, Op.1, No. 3; this was followed by another “youthful” and very melodic work, by the 20th century (but pre-Stalin) Russian composer Shostakovich: Trio No.1 in C minor, Op. 8 (noteworthy in that it has never been played in the 94 years of the BCMS); and the concert closed with the longer, more mature Beethoven: Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 2. The Gryphon Trio had performed in Buffalo a few seasons back as last-minute replacements and at the time had everyone in the audience floored, wondering why they hadn’t been here before. It would be hard to overstate the musical skill, the intonation, the close listening, and the obvious camaraderie of this group of three.
There were three surprises: First, they have a bit of a local connection – the two string players were coaches and mentors of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Concertmaster Dennis Kim.
Second, their pianist, James Parker, is quite the raconteur and introduced each work with descriptions of what to listen for. It’s been said that all science fiction can be summed up as “Either they come here or we go there.” Well, according to Parker, with Beethoven’s use of the “Sonata Allegro” form of composing, you get both. The principle theme goes there and then brings the secondary theme back home. Who knew?
And the third surprise was, after announcing “Thanks for dining with us tonight folks. Now here’s a little dessert” the trio played an encore: the “Death of an Angel” Tango by Astor Piazzolla. Could there be a more satisfying classical concert experience? And the good news is can experience it for yourself.
Tonight, on March 14 at 7:30 at UB, the trio will present Beethoven: Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1; Shostakovich: Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67; and Beethoven: Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 (“Archduke”).
The Canadian Gryphon Trio — Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin; Roman Borys, cello; and James Parker, piano — celebrating their 25th anniversary this Sunday, is one of the world’s pre-eminent piano trios and should not be missed, especially because these concerts are so very affordable.
Tickets for the UB concert are available through a variety of outlets at the following pricing structure:
UB faculty, staff, alumni, seniors and non-UB students
$10 plus $2 fee online at www.ticketfly.com
$10 plus $4 fee by phone at 877-987-6487 (Ticketfly)
$14 in person at the Center for the Arts (noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday)
$17 in person at the door (one hour before concert time)
UB students are admitted free with ID.
$15 plus $2 fee online at www.ticketfly.com
$15 plus $4 fee by phone at 877-987-6487 (Ticketfly)
$19 in person at the Center for the Arts (noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday)
$22 in person at the door (one hour before concert time)
Call 645-2921 or visit http://www.slee.buffalo.edu/