by Nat Frothingham
The first concert of the 15th season of the Capital City Concerts series will be a musical reunion of sorts. “From Paris with Love,” as the event is billed, is set for Saturday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m., at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier.
The program’s title suggests the warm affection that will welcome back to Montpelier two original members of the Paris Piano Trio: violinist Régis Pasquier and cellist Roland Pidoux, who have performed in the concert series numerous times in the past. Pasquier and Pidoux will be joined by a third French musician, violist Bruno Pasquier, brother of Régis. All three are or have been professors at the Paris Conservatory.
Talking excitedly about the Parisians’ return, CCC artistic director Karen Kevra said, “In the 15-year history of Capital City Concerts, no ensemble has been more beloved and regularly sold out than the Paris Piano Trio. … When the group ceased touring the United States, five years ago, we all mourned their loss in the Capital City Concerts [event] line-up.”
Joining the three string players in the quartet will be American keyboard artist David Kaplan. Kaplan has studied with such distinguished mentors as Claude Frank, Alfred Brendel, Richard Goode, and Emanuel Ax, and has been praised by the Boston Globe for his “grace and fire” and by The New York Times for his “striking imagination and creativity.”
The October 18 program will consist of three chamber music works: the Mozart piano quartet in G minor, K. 478; the Beethoven piano trio in G Major, Opus 9, No. 1; and the piano quartet in G minor by French composer Gabriel Fauré.
In a phone conversation with The Bridge, Kevra characterized the Mozart work as “a quartet with both variety and emotional depth.” She described the Fauré quartet as “remarkable French romantic music.” During his career Fauré wrote only two piano quartets. Kevra remembered hearing both of them played in Montpelier 12 years ago. “They completely blew me away,” she said.
Talking about the Paris Trio playing Fauré, she said, “These guys are French. And they [understand Fauré] like no one else. They have it in their blood. Fauré taught at the Paris Conservatory, like these guys do. There’s a direct bloodline there. These are three of the best string players in the world [playing] completely accessible music.”
The Beethoven trio, while one of the Bonn master’s first published works, nevertheless demonstrates the conviction and muscular energy that the young composer would bring to fruition in his later chamber works.