Trio focuses on Russia in Yellow Barn residency


PUTNEY -- Far from their hectic Boston lives, far from the elegiac expanse of Tolstoy’s "War and Peace," and far from the excruciating sadness of Shostakovich’s 2nd Piano Trio, Trio Cleonice has been immersing themselves in Russian music and literature.

On Saturday night they will emerge from Yellow Barn’s studios to perform Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky at Next Stage.

Trio Cleonice (violinist Ari Isaacman-Beck, cellist Gwen Krosnick and pianist Emely Phelps) is the Graduate Piano Trio-in-Residence at New England Conservatory. Next season they will embark on a European tour and curate a concert series in Brookline, Mass., and this week’s program will become part of its repertoire.

As the culmination of their Yellow Barn residency approaches, Gwen Krosnick shared some of their thoughts for this project: "The opening of the Tchaikovsky trio, to Ari, Emely and me, has always felt like the beginning of an epic tale, a huge and magical journey. One has the sense that, though the music is incredibly rich and evocative, right away, Tchaikovsky is only sharing so much. But we know that there is a huge emotional journey ahead: that is the affect, the atmosphere, the sense in the air as the piece begins! And, wildly, the parallel is perhaps the opening to ‘War and Peace.’ Even as Tolstoy starts it, almost unassumingly, with a conversation, we have the sense that this is the beginning of something much bigger than we can imagine or anticipate, something emotional and full of heat."

Trio Cleonice performs the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio together with Shostakovich’s 2nd Piano Trio on Saturday night at 8 p.m., at Next Stage. Following the performance they will participate in a post-concert discussion with mentors, Thomas Hodge, professor of Russian at Wellesley College, pianist Seth Knopp and violinist Anthony Marwood.

Tickets are $12. Reservations can be made by calling the Yellow Barn office at 802-387-6637.


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