A. Dvořák, Trios, Weilerstein Trio
Friday they were at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in an all-Dvořák program – no doubt to restore the Czech composer’s good reputation that had suffered so much the night before. Sans daughter, Mrs. Hornik-Weilerstein and Mr. Weilerstein gave a taste of the slight side of Dvořák with three of the Romantic Pieces, op. 75. The Allegro moderato was well played, Allegro appassionato and Largetto (less interesting than the others) exposed some of the difficulties Father Weilerstein (a renowned violin teacher) had, his sound being harsh and ‘scrubbed’ too often. Here as in the following Trio in G minor, op. 26 (the earlier, lesser, G minor trio), Mother Weilerstein outdid herself as an engaging accompanist, receiving for her efforts as much as music and instrument (the Corcoran’s Achilles’ heel) would yield.
With his daughter setting the bar for expressive and technical sufficiency several notches higher, Mr. Weilerstein improved notably in the trio (intonation still being off, here and there) while the cello impressed with a generous, round sound. Felt, strong, and reliable, she may have looked to her father for cues, but it was the parents who might well have looked to her for expression and engagement. That the cherubic Ms. Weilerstein looks at every longer held note as though she was playing Metamorphosen or Tod & Verklärung added a distinct visual (and perhaps audible) element to the refreshingly bold, brazen performance of the trio.
Quiet Woods for cello and piano proved a wonderful satin tone growing into resin-rich wood at Alisa’s will; the lovely short work being a charming vehicle for her to shine. Whether because of the absence of the violin or despite, it proved the most enjoyable piece on the program up to that point and including the following Dumky trio, op. 90.
A. Dvořák, Cello Concerto, "Dumky" Trio, J.-G. Queyras (I. Faust, A. Melnikov)/Prague PO, J. Bělohlávek
This might have made for a mixed impression going into the night – had it not been for the three to give an encore by Astor Piazzolla (“Fall” from his Four Seasons) and do so in grand style. All three were in their element: they seemed to have at last as much fun playing as the audience listening.