Il était une fois...

Piano Trio No. 2

For violin, cello and piano
Collage New Music



    a virtual journal and essential blog of the classical music scene in greater Boston

    Lee Eiseman, publisher; Robert Levin, advisor; David Moran, assisting editor; Bettina A. Norton, emerita editor

    MARCH 13, 2023

    in: reviews

    Collage Gives Concert III at Killian

    by Mark DeVoto

    David Hoose, music director of Collage New Music, remarked before the concert that Jihyun Kim’s Once Upon a Time…, receiving its Boston premiere, and Richard Festinger’s Il était une fois…, in a world premiere, had been programmed side by side entirely by coincidence. (I have promised that if they ever do that again by intention, I will compose Es war einmal… for the group.)…

    Richard Festinger, a San Franciscan already well known to our audiences, sat in on the premiere of his 50th-anniversary Collage commission, Il était une fois… for piano trio. This invigorating three-movement piece of genuine chamber music, with its early-20th-century Impressionist echoes, delighted us. The first movement principally occupied itself with a violin-cello duo, punctuated with hovering piano chords, and a lot of fast parallel fourths; the meter was 12/8 (Parisian, like the Kim work just heard). The second movement had longer and more broadly expressive melodic lines, in a grand Romantic manner, and some of these were imitative in shape and dialogue; again, the texture of string duo opposed directly by the piano was evident. “Counterpoint is close to my heart,” the composer said in the pre-talk. The finale somewhat echoed Ravel’s piano trio, with string trills and tremolos, and fast repeated figurations in the piano — which doesn’t necessarily contradict the composer’s stated preference of variation over repetition, because this finale moved along very effectively with both.

    – Mark DeVoto
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