A faint, acrid smell of wood smoke met the audience exiting the Sugden Community Theatre after the Classic Chamber Concerts performance Monday night.
Was it the Bechstein piano that Philipp Kopachevsky had just lit sparks on during the Beethoven "Archduke" Trio?
No — just one of the grass fires that keep Southwest Florida on olfactory alert during the bone-dry winters here. Still, Kopachevsky could have been indicted as a conspirator.
The Tchaikovsky competition veteran made his piano deliver both whispers and thunder at precise, perfect moments. Kopachevsky is barely an adult, but he is the soloist to count on for serious interpretation, starring simultaneously in the ArtsNaples World Festival here in May and in the Miami Piano Festival. After the performance Monday, there are no questions why.
It didn't matter whether you subscribed to the assessment by Classic Chamber Concerts Artistic Director William Noll of the Trio's four-section breadth and depth ("It's a symphony!") or the Bella Trio's recent blog about the divergence of the piano hands into separate voices ("It's a quartet!") It was stellar music all the way, lavished with the love it deserves.
The ideal colleagues for this work were Daniela Shtereva on violin and Adam Satinsky on cello. Both are core members of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra — Satinsky is, in fact, principal cellist — and both have mastered a rich sound at every register of their instruments. Shtereva gives her violin a vibrato so sweet you could stir it into coffee and has foolproof timing that dovetailed into Satinsky's laser-sharp cello openings in the second movement.
These are two people whose primary work is as part of a full-size orchestra at the Philharmonic Center, so it's a treat to hear their talents individually. The new Philharmonic policy that allows its members to star outside the hall has created unlimited potential for outstanding music in Naples; let's have a standing ovation for that decision.
At this concert, there was no better half. To open the program, a quartet comprising Sarasota Orchestra and Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra woodwind players took on the oh, so civilized Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds without turning it into audial assembly line work. Adam De Sorgo, oboe; Scott Radloff, bassoon; Stacey McColley, clarinet; and Charyle Naberhaus, a beautifully controlled French hornist, gave the evening a smart start with their tightly woven rendition, with Kopachevsky behind them on the piano.
Then De Sorgo and Radloff, working again with Kopachevsky, launched a blitzkrieg version of the Francis Poulenc Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon, the performances rolling over each other in a tag team and flying in formation with speed harmonies. They forged an amazing blend of virtuosity and teamwork.
It was a master class in woodwind performance. The only lament is that this was a one-time show.