St. Lawrence Seminar concert

St. Lawrence Seminar concert

Stanford University’s excellent string quartet called the St. Lawrence String Quartet, runs a seminar for instrumentalists during the summer months. And it is their tradition now to schedule several concerts in which the seminar participants (and their teachers) can shine.

On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, the concert featured two works:

1. First came the Schubert Rondo for piano 4-hands. I must say that this piece was a disappointment for me. Schubert was a great master. This music needs to be played with lightness, grace, and attention to dynamic markings. I heard none of these in Wednesday’s performance.

The performance by James Parker and a second pianist whose name I did not get, was heavy, without grace, and with seeming total lack of attention to dynamics. The playing of this piece was mostly loud, and with seemingly little sensitivity for what the composer wanted to tell us. One would think that the two performers would have worked out which person has the melody and who should remain softer and in the background.

2. The final work on the program was the Dumky Trio by Antonin Dvorak. This work was performed by the Gryphon Trio. The performance was executed with better results than the Schubert. For me, one performer excelled and that was the Cellist, Roman Borys. His eye – contact with the other two players was excellent. His playing produced a warm, sensitive, and beautiful tone. And he melded his tone together with the piano and violin.

Gryphon Pianist James Parker still seemed to me to be too loud. Or… perhaps he needed to have the piano lid at half-height, rather than fully opened. Violinist Annalee Palipatanakoon seemed to have an excellent technique, and she knew her part well. What was, for me, missing was the appropriate balance between the three instruments. The excellence of Dvorak’s music saved the day, however, and the audience expressed strong appreciation to the performers.

Here is Joseph Haydn’s  Trio #27 in C Major, thre Finale (presto) performed by Gryphon Trio. Nicely done!


And here is the Gryphon Trio (Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin; Roman Borys, ‘cello; James Parker, piano) performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Trio #2 in C minor, Op. 66 Finale


Tags: Stanford concert review, Gryphon Trio, James Parker, Annalee Patipatanakoon,  Roman Borys

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