Fiterstein, De Rosa and Wosner team up for memorable chamber evening

By Lawrence Budmen

Alexander Fiterstein

Friends of Chamber Music presented an evening featuring clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, cellist William De Rosa and pianist Shai Wosner Wednesday night at UM Gusman Concert Hall. Works of Schumann and Brahms at their most introspective provided a fine showcase for the instrumentalists’ tonal sheen and sterling musicianship.

The Clarinet Trio is one of Brahms’ serenely beautiful works from his twilight years. A series of long-limbed melodies flow through the score’s four movements in a spacious, unhurried manner.

Fiterstein’s mellow tone, De Rosa’s deep sonority and Wosner’s deft articulation conveyed the sense of autumnal peace that marked Brahms’ later works. The players were particularly felicitous as they seamlessly passed themes between instruments in the opening Allegro. Fiterstein and De Rosa brought singing line and gleaming color to the duet of the Adagio. In the principal theme of the Andante grazioso, one of Brahms’ loveliest creations, Fiterstein conveyed the melody’s ruminative aura, his instrument singing in almost operatic tones. The trio capped the performance with a vibrant finale, in which Wosner’s alert, brilliantly articulated pianism took special honors.  There was wonderful musical camaraderie between the players that gave the performance a unique glow.

Fiterstein opened the program with Schumann’s  three Fantasy Pieces. Both passionate and folksy, Schumann’s vignettes brought an impressive demonstration of Fiterstein’s versatility. Encompassing both the soft melodic lines and wide leaps of these instrumental songs, Fiterstein exhibited commanding dexterity and sensitivity to the music’s volatile emotions.

De Rosa offered a big-boned, passionate performance of Brahms’ Cello Sonata in E minor. Wosner was no less impressive. A totally equal partner, his bright, clear sound and fluent musicality brought strength and depth to Brahms’ keyboard writing.

The opening Allegro  was both darkly moody and powerful. De Rosa’s burnished sound and Wosner’s pianistic colors were perfectly matched to Brahms’ temperate but passionate music. In the charming Allegretto, De Rosa’s lithe phrasing shaped the sprightly theme to beguiling effect, and the cellist attacked the finale with fierce urgency. Here Wosner took the lead, bringing terrific virtuosity and abandon to the daunting piano line. The duo ripped through the coda at top voltage, concluding an exciting performance.

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Thu Mar 29, 2012
at 12:18 pm
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