The "Lament: To Messiaen" is gently pushed along by steady quarter notes the whole way through in the piano part. With this constant pulse, pianist Gloria Whitney provided a background against which violin and cello etched out their melodies. Whitney sensitively watched cellist Nancy Baun and violinist John Eaken to mark exactly the end of the movement, as well as other crucial spots.
"Danza Glorica: To Ginastera" is somewhat more overt in its praise of its subject. The quick-pulsed rhythms were taken from the same inspirations the Argentinian composer looked to - the music of Latin America.
The two short movements are a promising start, yet by themselves were emotionally and aesthetically inconclusive.
The ability to easily detect Rebecca Clarke's influences makes her no less a major talent. To be sure, there are snippets of Ravel, Debussy and other major composers of her time. But her 1921 work Trio not only skillfully emulates a variety of styles, it assimilates them into an original statement of personality.
In the work, Clarke showed an appreciation for the notes of the harmonic series. The piano played harmonics, like the overtones from pealing bells or an organ, in the opening. Yesterday, Whitney made the wise decision to leave the lid of the piano open fully to allow the ringing sound into the open spaces of the Fleisher as freely as possible.
Clarke's Trio provides opportunities for extended solo work, but the strength of the work - and indeed the strength of the Eaken Trio - is most impressive in ensemble work. John Eaken and Whitney matched their tone and intonation flawlessly, and the entire group effectively evoked the work's capriciously mysterious and passionate nature.
Their performance of Ernest Bloch's Three Nocturnes was less secure. Intonation was sometimes troublesome. But Haydn's Trio in C major, No. XXI, was satisfying for its intelligent tempos and thoughtful detail work.