Trio Brio a warmup for Toccata summer
June 8, 2011
Spring, are you out there?
In this year when winter seems to be never-ending, Toccata’s musical director James Rawie has a solution: “We are offering David Brock, Pat Crane and Darrell Moore as sacrificial lambs to the snow gods.”
Collectively known as Trio Brio, the vibrancy of their “Chamber Music Charmers” is sure to shake loose the long overdue springtime heat beginning Sunday, June 12, in the Squaw Valley Chapel.
Brock will be heard on the piano with Crane on both viola and violin along with Moore’s clarinet.
Serving as a low-key prelude for Toccata’s full choral and orchestration summer concerts that begin on July 2 with “Bach to Broadway”, the trio has been in existence for the past three and one-half years.
For those who yawn at the mere mention of chamber music, Brock assured an opposite reaction from those in Trio Brio’s audience.
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“We are formal, but never stuffy,” he said.
It is hard to be prim when a hot passion rules the three musicians’ collective desire to play musical pieces often overlooked in other concert venues.
“We love exploring intricate works not performed that need to be played,” said Brock, whose professional career began at age 11 at Washington, D.C.’s distinguished National Cathedral.
It was in another church, albeit without the Cathedral’s flying buttresses, where Brock and Moore first played together. It was through Brock’s long association, as Toccata’s organ instrumentalist, that Pat Crane’s talents completed the triad.
They are detectives for missing musical mystery histories by scouring the Web and other sources for works in the public domain. Often, the search is a race against the clock. The lack of a listening audience begins a death knoll domino effect for centuries-old compositions. Publishers no longer print the unsellable musical scores.
Luckily, librarians have scanned many.
Trio Brio’s finesse with their findings can be heard through a variety of composers at this coming week’s series of concerts.
Mozart’s Trio in Eb Major, K. 498 begins like a brook softly babbling over rocks when sudden sharp shards of sounds intersect it.
French-born Darius Milhaud’s talents and prolific career cut a wide swath of inspiration for 20th composers of many genres from the pops composer Burt Bacharach, minimalist Philip Glass and jazz great Dave Brubeck. His Suite Op. 157b for Violin, Clarinet and Piano present a spritely vivaciousness enabling the mind’s eye to imagine mountainsides verdant and dotted with wildflowers.
The Chamber Music Charmer’s program further seduces spring by including pieces by Max Bruch and Robert Schumann, two of the best interpreters of the Romantic Period and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.
Brock said Trio Brio’s venues in Squaw Valley, Reno’s Steinway Gallery and the Valhalla Boathouse near South Lake Tahoe are as important as the music. All offer intimacy, terrific acoustics and with the latter a stunning views of the lake.
Stunning is the adjective often used for Toccata as well. Their sixth season will deliver cornucopia of music to longtime aficionados and new converts through a series of concerts from July until September.