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ARCHIVE: Aperio 2019

Originally published 6/15/2019

This evening, I went to Miller Outdoor Theater to hear Aperio’s free concert of music by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Astor Piazzolla, and Philip Glass. Aperio artistic director Michael Zuraw spoke briefly to the sizable audience before introducing conductor Marlon Chen. The program began with a fine performance of the Prelude to Bachianas Brasilieros No. 4 by Villa-Lobos.

Featured violin soloist in Piazolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” was Dallas-native Chloé Trevor. From the very first notes, it was clear this would be a special performance. Beginning with the concertmaster, the string principals traded fugal themes infused with the jazzy Argentine rhythms that ran throughout the work. Trevor’s entrance began as a continuation and quickly morphed into a distinct solo persona. Her tone ran the gamut from shrieks to wails, and energetic bow strokes were accompanied by her bouncing red ponytail. Singing tones were enhanced by great bow contact and smooth bow changes, which produced a greater than expected volume of sound. Dance rhythms were played with unfussy idiomatic ease, as well as a few dancy motions of her own. While there was no self-conscious attempt to achieve perfection, technical passages were played with flawless intonation and stunning accuracy. There seemed to be a conscious attempt to present all the colors and emotions that Piazzola wrote into the score. Trevor succeeded, and became the piece.

With the weekly announcements of violin competition winners, it is too easy to forget that the primary function of music is not to win but to communicate. Very few of those winners have that capability, and will give performances that will quickly be forgotten. As the saying goes, it’s not what you say that will be remembered, but how you make someone feel. Tonight’s performance by Chloé Trevor and the Aperio orchestra made the audience and this listener feel inspired. It was a study in how to reach out and share music. After this, I felt I could not stay for the second half. Glass dismissed.

Marlon Chen conducted a string chamber orchestra.

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