Gryphon Trio of Toronto

July 3, 2009

Gryphon trio of Toronto performed Haydn Piano trio in C-Major

St. Lawrence Quartet performed Dvorak’s quartet Op 106

GRYPHON TRIO is composed of Violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon, cellist Roman Borys and pianist Jamie Parker who live in Toronto and teach at the University of Toronto. The Trio plays across Canada and around the world, enjoying a reputation for beautiful sound, superb ensemble and the highest order of musical sensitivity.

The Gryphon Trio began the concert with a performance of the Haydn Trio in C Major. This work is very piano-centric, in that the violin and Cello have mostly supporting roles, and the piano gets to play all the fun stuff. It was really well done. Very musical, and excellent balance. One sees in this trio all the originality and inventiveness of Haydn. Lots of humor, as well. I noted that frequently the Cello plays the same part as the piano left hand, but on occasion is asked to do some other things, too. The third movement of the piece is marked Presto, and provided a rousing conclusion to an enjoyable performance. Picture of the Gryphon Trio is attached.

The St. Lawrence Quartet played the Dvorak Op. 106.

Dvorak had spent a couple of years in the US, and he was eager to return to his native Czechslovakia, after having also spent time in Spillville, Iowa, where he composed the Symphny # 9, and the American Quartet. Dvorak was to be back home! And he composed two quartets upon his return, of which the Op 106 is one.

I particularly noted the darkness and seeming sadness of the second (Adagio) movement. There were many unusual harmonies, and quite original sounds. The pervasive atmosphere, however, was quite somber. The last movement, in contrast, was filled with folk tunes, and much fanfare and joyous, melodic sounds. This is a real crowd pleaser, particularly in the 4th movement. Nice playing by a fine group of musicians.

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