Agnieszka Peszko, violin; Carlyn Kessler, cello; Rachel Kim, piano
Jennifer Higdon Piano Trio: I. Pale Yellow (2003)
Germaine Tailleferre Piano Trio (1916/17, rev. 1978)
Johannes Brahms Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 101
Founded in 2017, the Curium piano trio have gained reputations as performers that radiate dynamism and presence. Specializing in performing the music of female composers, they have brought together a community of people with their diverse musical programming. For this concert, they will be presenting works by Jennifer Higdon and Germaine Tailleferre as well as the powerful Brahms Piano Trio in C minor.
Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio, separated into two movements titled Pale Yellow and Fiery Red, is exemplary of her fascination with sound and color. She writes, “I often picture colors as if I were spreading them on a canvas, except I do so with melodies, harmonies and through the instruments”. A much more obscure female composer on the program is Germaine Tailleferre, a French composer and only female member of the post-World War I group of composers known as Les Six. The first and third movements of the trio, first composed in 1917, contain Impressionistic richness and density, and she returned sixty years later in 1978 to add the whimsical second movement and mysterious fourth movement. A prominent musician during her time, Tailleferre left an extensive body of work spanning almost 70 years and her piano trio contains the distinctive lyrical romanticism, elfish pleasure, and Ravelian harmonies that characterize her music. The Brahms Piano Trio in C minor is a dynamic work in the composer’s late, concise style and arguably the least known of the three piano trios. With the minor key predominating through the entire piece, it is at once grim, fiery, energetic – all the characteristics we know to be essential to Brahms’s late works.