Main Street's Broadway Stage drew the Deer Valley International Chamber Music Festival to the Salt lake Valley Monday, for the first of several programs this season to be presented at both locations.
The good news is the concert itself was a three-, maybe four-star affair. The bad news is there weren't many there to hear it. At least I counted no more than 25 people scattered around what, especially for a theater, has to be one of the more appealing concert venues in town, with seats bordering on the dangerously comfortable. (Reportedly there were around twice as many people in Park City for the Sunday-night edition.)No matter. They were rewarded with playing of sensitivity and strength, whether in the first of Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano, the Op. 12, No. 1, or an arrangement for clarinet and string trio of Mozart's K. 496 Piano Trio. Strength was particularly a hallmark of the Beethoven, violinist Arturo Delmoni's aristocratic directness being complemented by pianist Robert Moeling's dashing filigrees in the first movement. Yet the central theme and variations were tenderly evocative, building inexorably to the minor-key third variation, followed by an unusually good-humored Rondo, in which the interludes also communicated a fair amount of heart.
By contrast, it was sensitivity that reigned in the Mozart, here with Delmoni, clarinetist Russell Harlow, violist Leslie Blackburn and cellist Terry King. Which is to say no one overpowered his colleagues, in a nicely balanced rendition whose flexibility was most apparent in the introspective counterpoint of the Andante.
Still, that did not prevent Harlow's clarinet from taking the lead in the opening Allegro, with its unpressured lyricism, or King's meaty cello sound from making its mark both here and in the slow movement.
But the high point for King, as well as his partners - in this instance Delmoni and Moeling - was arguably Dvorak's "Dumky" Trio, which closed the evening with a bang. I realize that's not a word one normally applies to this largely meditative opus. But here its alternating moods were launched with gusto in an interpretation in which the elegiac sections were interspersed with some vividly characterized dance episodes.
Thus in the quieter moments Delmoni's violin managed to be sweetly affecting, Moeling's piano wistfully nostalgic and King's cello properly soulful. But it was the faster sections that really sparked to life, especially the energetic fifth movement and the wonderfully impulsive finale, which here almost leapt off the page.
Additional Deer Valley programs at the Broadway Stage are set April 1, featuring violinist Charles Cas-tleman, cellist Scott Ballentyne and pianist Michael Gurt, and April 29, with violinist Charles Lubove and pianist Nina Lugovoy.