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Horszowski Trio

Audience as a Critic - 2018-2019


Jesse Mills, violin
Raman Ramakrishnan, cello
Reiko Aizawa, piano


Robert Schumann
Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63
Joseph Haydn
Trio in G major, Hob. XV: 25
Felix Mendelssohn
Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66

Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 (2nd mov’t)
Felix Mendelssohn



Sawyer Craig, soprano
Megan Dufrat, piano

Joaquin Turina           
Tres Poemas. Op. 81



“A Fabulous Musical Evening”

Astonishing musicianship.  Appreciative audience.  Wonderful evening.  (PM)

Bring them back.  It was beautiful. Schumann was great.  The Haydn superb Mendelssohn lovely with feeling. (ET)

Schumann:  If this was dinner – it was a real feast. The best steak with all the seasonings and wine were perfectly blended but had flavours of their own. Wonderful full sounds and all nuances beautifully turned.  Haydn:  Delightful and refreshing – clarity and perfection all rolled into a melodious package! The last movement was a thrilling and dizzying presto. Bravo!  Mendelssohn:  Ensemble technique times three. Musicality was beyond good. The lyrical playing was often breathtaking. Even at a dizzying tempo there was always a beautiful tone.  A fabulous musical evening. (VH)

Audience totally enthralled throughout the complex Schumann piece; justifiably because it was played stunningly. The three voices combined so beautifully in communicating the spirit of the music that I was tremendously moved, most especially in the Mendelssohn piece. (Anon)

Schumann:  Dramatic contrasts in dynamics and tempo. Loved string harmonics then total dramatic contrasts, and passionate – almost a foreboding of the troubled soul of Schumann written 7 years before he attempted suicide.  2ndmvt – Humourous – could picture their many children “galloping” around.  3rdmvt – Opening of violin like a German Lied -then to cello and finally a duet-love song to his beloved Clara?  4thmvt – Frenetic technical passages with fire! Haydn:  Clarity of the classical form so well developed by Haydn. Always enjoy Haydn’s humour especially in the 3rdmvt.  Piano clarity was outstanding! One spot reminiscent of perhaps a Hungarian dance – full of vigour! Then off to the races again with excellent technical passages!  Mendelssohn:  Full Romantic sound – technical phrases very expressive.  2ndmvt – Very sensitive and musical. This Trio is perfectly attuned to one another.  Scherzo – “Song Without Words” – could picture fairies flitting about – reminiscent of Mid Summer Night’s Dream.  4thmvt – Full of dramatic passages, full harmonies of rich Romantic period. Tumultuous at times.  Encore:  Lovely. – “With Fire and Passion” – indeed it was by Horszowski Trio!  Thank you! Bring Trio back again.  Outstanding!!! (MJM)

The Virtuosi Concert on Saturday, October 20th was an amazing evening. I enjoyed the Young Artist selection. It is a fine addition to our evenings. I hope it gives our young people a boost in their careers. Now as for the main event, that was another matter. It was awesome. The Horszowski Trio was absolutely amazing. They played so beautifully together. Each instrument spoke clearly and yet, respected its counterparts. I felt that the pianist, Rieko Aizawa was especially superb. She has such an amazing touch. She can play loudly as necessary, and always sensitively to the others. She reminded me of a talented seamstress and embroiderer. She stitched together the panels from Jess Mills, violinist and Raman Ramakrishnan, cello so beautifully. She added the hems, the panel connective pieces, and then she embroidered it all so gracefully with her parts, her delicate and secure stitches gave us a beautiful masterpiece. These wonderful artists deserved even more standing ovations. Their encore was truly great too. What a splendid evening! Thanks Virtuosi Concerts. You are presenting Winnipeggers with outstanding musicianship. Keep up the good work. (GB)

Superlative performing drawing us into the music.  The Mendelssohn trio last movement was transcendent.  (ME)

Amazing!  (Anon)

Sparkling! Very fine.  (Anon)

Outstanding!  (BW)

Thank you very much.  (CP & SW)

Fantastic playing – lovely, passionate.  Schumman – quite dramatic end. Haydn – First movement beautiful.  Best piano trio in the country.  Mendelssohn – Wonderful. They’re so well balanced, it’s beautiful.  If the young performers ever played a piece of music to please other than themselves, I might support them. But they never do.  (HT)

The slow movement of the Schumann trio demands the greatest degree of coordination from the artists. Fortunately for us, the Horszowski Trio was equal to the task! In all three pieces on the program, their performance was as near-perfect as we could ask of them. Hope to hear them again soon. (PH)

This Trio has a remarkable ability to turn feelings and intention of the composer into sparkling reality. Each movement in each composition sounded as it should. And it was obvious even to me, a music lover, but not a music scholar. Thoroughly professional and highly committed musicianship. Delightful and inspiring. Come again. On a scale of 1 to 10, a 12+.  (DL)

From 8 students in Prof. Strub’s Honours course, Psychology and the Arts (a.k.a. PsycArts). This concert was a totally new experience for all of them. Below are selected comments taken from their “Reflection Papers”:

i.            The Horszowski Trio was amazing right from the beginning till the very end. They moved with such compassion and enthusiasm that their movements could be considered an art form. This music scene is different from the ones I regularly attend, and if not for Prof. Strub (or to impress a date), I would never have otherwise paid money for a ticket. This is because of a preconceived notion that classical music can just be listened to at home, and that there is no exciting or visually mesmerizing element to it. I now know that thinking that way is wrong and extremely close-minded of me, and I would be thrilled to attend another. Furthermore, the music was also perfect in helping me relax, which is rare in my active schedule. Here, I was even able to close my eyes and live in the moment. I would highly recommend that students make attending a classical concert part of their learning experience. The music is bound to open their minds to new perspectives, or at the very least assist them in dwelling in the moment and appreciating the present.

ii.            The concert last night was very passionate overall. All performers, including the Young Artists, were very obviously passionate about the pieces they played. While I am not usually a fan of sopranos, preferring altos, hearing her powerful voice in such a small room was a pleasant change from the operas at the Concert Hall. The Horszowski Trio was brilliant. The passion and gusto with which they played reined me in from the beginning. Playing the Schumann first was indeed like having the main course before the appetizer, but I will say that the Mendelssohn served as an excellent dessert. During it, I thought for sure the violinist was going to fall off his seat. The Haydn trio was far from my favourite, although the last movement almost redeemed it. The pianist was absolutely stunning in her runs and her ability to change moods so suddenly. My compliments to the perfectly timed page-turner as well. In all, the pieces were amazingly played and often threatened to overwhelm me, bringing tears to my eyes.

iii.             Because of my financial circumstance, it is not often I get to experience such events and luxuries. It was truly a memorable and generously offered treat. It was not only an enjoyable experience within my own mind and to my own ears, but I also enjoyed the shared experience with the crowd and my fellow classmates. The evening was thoroughly enjoyable, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to attend and experience the event. It was also interesting looking around at the crowd to see how others were experiencing the performance. Some people would listen with their eyes closed, some would be watching others a little, and some would alternate between watching the monitor and the performers. I found the evening quite interesting.

iv.            As I have to confess, I’m not an expert on classical music. However, I definitely can say that I really relished the concert and have to say thank you very much that our PsycArts course was invited. The musicians were totally taken up in their music. I especially liked the two Romantic composers, Schumann and Mendelssohn. The Haydn sounded more harmonic and light and maybe a bit easier to understand, although it wasn’t as exciting and thrilling as the other two works. However, it did function well as a “sparkling palate cleanser” after the Schumann, as the musicians intended. On its own, it might have had a more powerful effect on me. You definitely won’t go wrong to re-invite the Horszowski Trio in the future.

v.            I am far from a musical person; however, I found the Virtuosi Concert both interesting and enjoyable. Generally, I listen to rock-and-roll or pop music but my taste in music can vary, moving into any number of musical spheres. However, I usually prefer music that has vocals and have never found the same level of enjoyment in music that does not contain vocals. However, I did enjoy the music of the concert and was amazed at the skill of the musicians. Nonetheless, I was dumfounded to discern what emotions the music was designed to evoke. However, the quality of sound seemed far superior live than the recorded classical music I have heard in the past. In conclusion, I thought the Virtuosi Concert was novel and enjoyable yet my experience could have been even better if I had more experience with classical music.

vi.            I have never been to a chamber music concert before so this was a new experience for me. It was interesting to see how the musicians played with their entire bodies and not just the instruments. They were constantly moving and expressing emotion which really added to the performance. It was also nice to experience it with almost everyone from class. Even though I do not have much of a background with this type of music, I can always appreciate when people are really talented at something.

vii.            The Virtuosi Concert last night was the very first classical concert I have attended. I was moved. Some of the music was too powerful; other music was uplifting and light. I even had goose bumps in one of the movements. To be honest, the first piece by Schumann was not my cup of tea. I did find the last two pieces more enjoyable. The second half of the programme did more to sweep away the audience. Also, the way the musicians played their instruments with their bodies gave more emphasis to the music and its meaning, with a powerful impact communicated to the audience. Overall, the Horszowski Trio is an amazing group. They are power players. I enjoyed the last part of the programme the most because all of them were playing equally. The reason for this is that I noticed that the cello seems to be just a support in the Haydn Trio. Added to that, the opening Young Artist performance by the soprano and pianist was a remarkable one. I watched a Youtube performance just before, but actually hearing someone singing live in a lovely soprano voice is a great experience. To sum up, it was a very good experience in such an intimate setting for classical music.

viii.             I truly enjoyed this experience. At first, I was very impressed by the young artist (program) singer. Her voice was wonderful, especially with the piano accompaniment. I noticed that her facial expressions would match the emotion of the song, like she was acting as well as singing. However, I felt more emotionally connected to the music that the Horszowski Trio played. In particular, the Schumann piece seemed to move me the most. During one part of this piece, my eyes began to tear up as the sounds of the violin, cello, and piano reached inside to tug at my heart strings. Also, I noticed that sometimes the musicians would close their eyes while playing, but when they did this, they would never miss a beat. It was as if they didn’t need to see to be able to play the music, but that they could feel it. I also noticed the energy and communication between the Trio members while they were playing. This made it seem as though the instruments were talking to one another or complementing each other. I found it amazing that they were able to stop so precisely on time with each other. This incredible ability to stay in touch with one another was one of my favourite parts about the experience. This concert made me realize how much I love the sound of string instruments. I very much appreciated the experience. Thank you for bringing us as your guests.