A new review published on the 6th of January in The Strad magazine:
“For its second disc – generously filled, and rewardingly programmed – string trio Ensemble Epomeo focuses on music composed in Eastern Europe and Russia in the late 20th century, playing with a remarkable intensity and elegant assurance throughout.
The threesome’s Schnittke String Trio bristles with detail – there are finely balanced chords moving from glowing diatonicism to harsh dissonance, and carefully shaped melodies with beautifully expressive vibrato – yet they never lose sight of the work’s broader architecture, nor of its poignant, increasingly bleak mood. Penderecki’s String Trio gives the players the chance to shine individually in vividly dispatched cadenzas – David Yang on viola is lithe and expressive, cellist Kenneth Woods nimble and mischievous, and violinist Diane Pascal forcefully assertive – and there’s a persuasive rhythmic drive to their propulsive closing movement.
They expertly summon vivid sound images for a selection of miniatures from Kurtág’s Signs, Games and Messages, and there’s abundant lyricism in their Weinberg String Trio, not least in Woods’s gracefully phrased opening cello line….Recorded sound..is warm and resonant.”
Critic Harry Rolnick chose Epomeo’s appearance at the Kyo-Shin-Arts series at the Tenri Cultural Centre over a trip to Carnegie Hall to hear Yo-Yo Ma. Did he make the right choice? Read the whole thing here.
One can never underrate Mieczyslaw Weinberg, though he is little heard in New York. The last time was the St Petersburg Orchestra with his Moldavian Overture. Mr. Weinberg, like his friend Dmitri Shostakovich, were truly fecund composers. Weinberg had written about 21 symphonies and much chamber music, like the Trio played this afternoon. New to this writer, but filled with zest, juicy violin solos by Dianne Pascal, and succinct movements.
That same trio sparkled through Beethoven’s early C Minor Trio for a finale. But it was the opening work, seven selections from György Kurtág’s Signs, Games and Dances which impressed most of all.
Kurtág, I must confess, has become an obsession. Infinite works, each different, each a one-carat diamond, a flash, a bolt of lightning, an epigraph…
Yes, it was Mr. Schlefer who supplied the Japanese music. But György Kurtág’s music was closer to a Japanese sketch, half a haiku, an inhalation, an inspiration.
The seven works were dissimilar. An out-of-tune Romanian dance, a crazy waltz, an embrace of softness…each demanded not only full attention from the audience, but