Written by Charissa Roberson
The audience waited in silent anticipation as the trio of musicians took their seats on the Olin stage. For a moment, the tableau freezes—hands poised over piano keys, bows hovering inches from strings. Then, music breaks forth.
In tumbling, complex harmony, the Kandinsky Trio played through Beethoven’s “Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1.” No outside noise interrupted the awed hush between movements, until enthusiastic applause and intermission lights greeted the final flourish of notes.
On Jan. 19, RC welcomed the Kandinsky Trio for a spectacular concert entitled “Reflections on Eternity.” The talented threesome, composed of violinist Benedict Goodfriend, cellist Alan Weinstein and pianist Elizabeth Bachelder, took their name from abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky, who believed that color—like music—could be an expression of raw feeling.
Those who attended Saturday’s concert experienced this artistic phenomenon firsthand. After a captivating opening half, the Kandinsky Trio returned to the Olin stage, accompanied by a clarinetist and an actress, to lead their audience through the multi-faceted musical landscape of Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time,” which he wrote from a German prisoner of war camp in 1941.
Narration and onscreen visuals further enhanced the spine-chilling, otherworldly nature of Messiaen’s masterpiece, delivered with breathtaking skill by the musicians.
“I loved them both,” says RC President Michael Maxey, recalling the concert’s two parts. “The second piece was powerful and overwhelming…and just gripping…They are incredible artists.”