Montreal-based ensemble plays entrancing Friday-night show
Chamber music has its unique challenges – it exposes each performer’s flaws. The Trio Fibonacci’s “Concert Mystique” program, performed in Brunton Auditorium on March 4, offered an excellent comparison with the student chamber recital the following evening.
The ensemble consists of three reputable musicians: violinist Julie-Anne Derome, cellist Gabriel Prynn and pianist Wonny Song, all of whom displayed traits to which chamber musicians aspire. The Trio showcased a balanced evening of repertoire from the medieval period to the modern, featuring a contrast between easier-to-follow tonal music and elaborate dissonant works. They switched smoothly between calm sections and more agitated and lively passages, dominated by seemingly simple melodies.
The first half of the concert introduced musical characteristics which would become prominent in the second half. It provided a mixture of harmonies, colours and tones while maintaining a common theme of intimacy. Their opening work, Mozart’s Trio in G Major, eased the audience into the performance through calm, moving melodies that still possessed energy and life. The outer movements, the Allegro and Allegretto, had more elaborate moving lines with quicker paced movement through ascending and descending motives, convincing through the clear direction and shape of the lines. The challenge of the second movement was repetition: Each idea was reinforced, creating the task of continually forming an engaging line.
In Mozart-Adagio by Arvo Pärt, the strings had an abundance of dissonant notes followed by dramatic pauses, a recurring sequence throughout the work. Hildegard von Bingen’s O viriditas digiti Dei featured a unique arrangement combining solo violin playing into a microphone with electronic sounds. The Trio conveyed a meditative atmosphere with the sound of a drone and a slow, simple and repetitive flowing melody. The last piece before the intermission, Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus from Quatuor pour la fin du temps composed by Olivier Messiaen, ended the first half peacefully with a feeling of stillness through a delicate piano and cello duo.
The second half was the highlight of the program, with an exuberant performance of Jean Sibelius’s Piano Trio in D Major, which featured added flare noticeable in the Trio’s body language. Their interpretation did an excellent job of taking the listener on a journey—the element of surprise and suspense was spread out amongst the movements. The dynamic contrasts created the suspense: Having gradual momentum changes frequently followed by dramatic pauses made each new idea more enticing. A key factor in the appeal of the performance was the Trio’s ability to transition from outbursts of energy and agitated sections to slower, warmer violin-driven melodies. Even light plucking in the cello part added depth and life to the overall direction of the work.
Prior to appearing in Mount Allison’s Performing Arts Series, the Trio showcased their “Concert Mystique” program in Saint John, N.B. and Montreal, Que.