A Trio Of Mozart Piano Trios

Posted: March 21, 1998

Mozart, Mozart, and more Mozart was the order of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Players' program Thursday night, specifically piano trios by the world's most popular composer.

With a pianist such as Mitsuko Uchida fulfilling the keyboard role, naysaying is not likely to be welcomed. But even Uchida's artistry and her colleagues' deft contributions didn't alleviate the feeling that three pieces by the same composer for the same instruments inevitably result in a soporific program.

The greatest delights came from the slow movements. The Larghetto of the Trio in B flat major (K. 502) was punctuated with pleasures; the Andante grazioso of the Trio in E major (K. 542) was not only gracious and graceful, but plied with inflections of poignance as well.

In each, as in the program overall, the musical cohesions flowed forward from Uchida's relaxed, strong arms. She offers an interpretative approach marked by an expansive freedom; it's a kind of Classical Romanticism that Peter Stumpf appears to revel in, considering the amplitude of resonance that issued from his cello.

Mark Steinberg was the soulful, ever-capable violinist in the program, which opened with the Trio in G major (K. 496).

The society is hugely fortunate to have artists such as these eager to perform together under the PCMS aegis, which is becoming Philly's answer to the Chamber Music Players of Lincoln Center.

No doubt these players, too, are appreciative of the care and trouble society director Anthony P. Checchia consistently undertakes to keep his three-dozen-and-growing chamber events the city's finest.

THE PHILADELPHIA CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY PLAYERS Mitsuko Uchida, piano; Mark Steinberg, violin; Peter Stumpf, cello. Performed Thursday night at the Convention Center. No additional performances.

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