At St. Paul’s Church, Sunday, February 14, the Grammy Award-nominated Eroica Trio – Erika Nickrenz, piano; Sara Parkins, violin; Sara Sant’Ambrogio, cello – presented a program specifically selected to reflect the romantic association with Valentine’s Day. Resplendent in festive red, they began with a lush medley of Gershwin tunes “Porgy and Bess Fantasy”, arranged for them by Kenji Bunch. Quickly establishing their authority over their respective instruments, the musicians played brilliantly with a pure tone and considerable brio.
“Berceuse (Lullaby) de Jocelyn”, the best known selection from Benjamin Godard’s Opera of the same name “Jocelyn”, followed. Selections from Argentine Tango-master Astor Piazzolla referenced Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”. “Otono Porteno”, a paean to autumn, “Oblivion”, and “Primavera Portena”, a salute to Spring, concluded the first half of the program. After intermission, the ensemble offered an exuberant rendering of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Trio No 2, Opus 66 in c minor” in four movements.
Praise for the ensemble was unanimous. Lillian Van Hest, Impromptu Classical Concerts’ President, noted: “Passion! Passion! Passion! They made it look like they were having ‘fun’ while working their brains out.” On a more technical level, Van Hest observed: “The piano collaborator is sort of the ‘unsung hero’, gluing the scores with precision.”
Well-known Keys piano tuner and music aficionado Christine Gorham was equally impressed: “Each performer of this trio was flawless! The passion in phrasing of the cello, with percussive movements on the piano, combined with the difficult attacks on high notes on the violin, left me spellbound.” Ms. Gorham continues: “The church was silenced to hearing a pin drop, and to add to the fray of this talented trio, their true beauty radiated to everyone in the SRO packed audience! Truly loved every minute from beginning to end, and look forward to them returning for next season!”
For forty-four years Impromptu Classical Concerts has enriched the cultural life of Key West. The superb performance by Eroica Trio continues that noble tradition.