It seems only fitting that the final work on the final chamber music program of Skaneateles Festival's 30-year Anniversary season proved a persuasive affirmation, and perhaps even a culmination, of the Festival's mantra, "World class music by the lake."
Friday evening's extraordinary rendition of Lalo's Piano Trio No. 3 was more than just a memorable performance that drew the listener into the musical experience; it was a powerful reminder that great performances of the world's finest works from the chamber repertory is what this festival is all about. This is the formula that has defined the mission of this festival and guided it over the course of three decades, steadily forging an identity that ultimately earned a place within the top rung of the country's most respected summer music festivals.
Friday's four-work program opened with Paganini's Quartet No. 15 for Violin, Viola, Cello and Guitar, a quartet is, in effect, a viola concerto with the violin, cello and guitar accompaniment in that the viola part reigns supreme throughout the work. Andr (c)s C rdenes, the celebrated violinist of past SkanFest seasons, proved a capable virtuoso on viola, as well.
Paganini's Quartet, while certainly no musical masterpiece, gives the violist a chance to show his/her wares more than most concertos for the instrument. In the lengthy opening movement C rdenes executed the crisply dotted-rhythmic figures and tossed off the seemingly endless 16th-note passagework with grace and (c)lan, as the three other instrumentalists (violinist Mauricio Aguiar, cellist David Ying and guitarist Eliot Fisk) provided a secure and well-balanced accompaniment texture.
Alberto Ginastera's Impresiones de la Puna, for flute and string quartet, is a three-movement composition set in the manner of a tone-poem conveying the then-18-year-old composer's impressions of the high mountain valleys (puna) of the northern Andes Mountains. Flutist Linda Chesis joined Aguiar and Michi Wianco (violin), Phillip Ying (viola) and Keiko Ying (cello) in this contemplative work whose opening two movements unfold as elegiac mood-pieces that recalls the gentle, neo-Romantic style of Samuel Barber.