November 1, 2010

Beethoven: Trio in C Minor, Opus 1, No. 3
Ravel: Trio in a Minor for Piano, Violin and Cello
Donna Kwong (Piano), Emily Bruskin (violin), Julia Bruskin (cello)
Recording: The Concert Hall of the Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York (May 10-12, 2010) - 54'48
Tria Records #TR3862
Booklet in English

Why the unlikely pairing of Beethoven and Ravel? Leave it to the acumen of three gifted artists to explain their ironic connection within the musical world. The Claremont Trio, comprised of twin sisters, Emily and Julia Bruskin along with Donna Kwong, all students of the prestigious Julliard School, coalesced over ten years ago. It was originally Ravel's Trio that brought the three together. Fascinated with its intricacies of meter, rhythmic allure, mellifluous sonorities and a personal camaraderie that led to the formation of the professional group in 1999. For over ten years the Claremont Trio has performed throughout The United States

and Europe, gracing many of the world's most venerable stages. Aware of presenting standard repertoire favorites, the Trio also recognizes the importance of expanding their musical register to include lesser known compositions, opening the minds of eager young listeners.

So why the inclusion of two vastly different composers? Both Beethoven and Ravel draw interesting parallels in that they both expand the notion of a bare bones trio into a flushed version of orchestral magnitude, distinct in their own ways. It's a fascinating case study to listen to each creation along these lines, firmly differentiated in flavor yet accomplishing the same purpose.

While a musical cohesion exists between the three, there's also the idea that the Bruskins and Kwong are passionate about their classical endeavors. Whether it be the violin, cello or piano, each one carries with it an important component, weaving the notes in an articulated, intellectual and pellucid fashion. The Claremont Trio is the way classical music should be played: soulful, passionate, yielding, discerning, evocative and informative. It is no wonder this talented threesome is paving a new avenue of brilliance and innovation for the new millennium.

This recording epitomizes finesse, adroitness and musical diction. We look forward to hearing the Trio's continued successes in the upcoming year.

—Christie Grimstad