, Salem, MA


June 12, 2014

Music at Eden's Edge opens with trio of trios

Good things come in threes.

They include the three concerts that Music at Eden’s Edge will play next week in Danvers and Essex.

And the 33 years that the chamber music ensemble has been entertaining audiences on the North Shore. Its programs have always included community outreach, such as this Tuesday’s free concert for families and seniors.

Then, there are the three compositions that Eden’s Edge will play next week, each of which is — what else? — a trio.

The parts of the violin, viola and cello in these works by Beethoven, Jean Cras and Sergei Taneiev correspond to human voices.

“The viola is the middle size of these, the equivalent of an alto to tenor voice,” said Maria Benotti, artistic director of Eden’s Edge. “And think of the cello as the baritone and the violin as soprano to mezzo.”

Those voices sound different in a trio, as opposed to a quartet, because there is one less violin.

“In some ways, you hear the individual colors of the instruments more, because there aren’t two violins,” Benotti said. “It has a rich sonority that’s balanced and strong.”

But this also means that, in the absence of an extra instrument, everyone playing in a trio has more work to do.

“When you have the trio, particularly the violist ends up having to do more, but everybody does more,” Benotti said.

The Beethoven piece in the program, String Trio in D Major Opus 9 No. 2, is the only Beethoven trio that Eden’s Edge has never played before.

“Some used to speculate he was using string trios as a training ground for the quartets, but I think that’s spurious,” she said. “It’s something he did well until he exhausted it.

“It’s an interesting genre, but there really is a difference in the sound; you can get a rich sound. With everybody playing double stops — two notes at once — it sounds almost orchestral.”

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