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CHAMBER REVIEW
River Choir / Saturday, January 26, 2013
Amaryllis Trio. Lisa Doyle, violin; Wendy Reynolds, cello; Sonia Tubridy, piano.

Amaryllis Trio

AMARYLLIS TRIO IN FULL FLOWER

by Terry McNeill
Saturday, January 26, 2013

The West County’s Amaryllis Trio began their winter concert season Jan. 26 in a charming Sebastopol home. Led by the ubiquitous pianist Sonia Tubridy, the Amaryllis programmed the entire first half with Schumann’s late third Piano Trio, Op. 110. A passionate and wild work, the trio demands an aggressive approach in each of the four movements. The Amaryllis adopted judicious tempos throughout, and the restless and slightly menacing main theme was deftly handed from violinist Lisa Doyle to cellist Wendy Reynolds. It was a stormy reading, filling the small living room with a lot of sound.

Following a lovely slow movement and a scherzo where the Amaryllis captured the lively rise and fall of the line, the playful finale was rendered with wit and caprice, Ms. Reynolds’ cello part adding a rich bottom sonority. Occasionally the strings, more forward in the room to the small audience, surprisingly covered the piano part.

Paul Schoenfield’s popular “Cafe Music,” heard after intermission, is a two-movement work of sprightly invention that in the hands of the Amaryllis bordered on the raucous. The music was bouncy and syncopated and featured Ms. Doyle’s high-register violin playing to great effect.

The concert-ending A Major Trio of Haydn, No. 32, seemed to be a port in the storm after the drama of Schumann and Schoenfield. The Trio played it well, underscoring the humorous animation of so many of Haydn’s piano trios. These works often sound like an accompanied solo piano work, and with Ms. Tubridy’s fluid scale playing and gracious ensemble, there was a lot to like.

Though the Amaryllis is not the most note-perfect and polished ensemble, they brought to each work a commitment to thematic projection and unrestrained drama. The concert was a benefit for the River Choir, and it will be repeated Feb. 3 in Guerneville. For information, call 707-869-3273.