Here and Now Series
Ashley Bathgate, cello
Lisa Moore, piano
Special guest soloists Courtney Orlando, violin
Karen Bentley Pollick, violin
Fulton Ferry Landing, NY
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
Well, it was that time again! Time to pursue another trip to the rocky atmosphere on the Barge in Brooklyn for another shore-bound performance, this time from the wonderful duo TwoSense. Comprised of Ashley Bathgate on cello and Lisa Moore on keys, TwoSense had just given a preview of this show at the previous weekend’s Bang On a Can Marathon, and it was great to have a sort of extended evening of Bang-related music.
Before they got to the living composers, the duo began the set with Leoš Janáček‘s Pohádka. A 3-movement sonata-meets-tone-poem, the piece was delivered with a great clarity and delight, and a conclusion that is sweet in its serenity (EDITOR’S NOTE: You can hear another recording of TwoSense performing the third movement “Allegro” when you click on Lisa Moore’s “TwoSense” page).
Martin Bresnick‘s “Prayers Remain Forever” remains an astonishing work, sounding even more intense at the Barge than it did at the Winter Garden during the marathon, and the piece’s greatest moments for me are the cascading piano and the cello’s vibrant sustained chords during the fever-pitch conclusion that literally always leaves the two soloists looking like they played for their lives.
The world premiere of Samuel Carl Adams‘ Piano Trio featured another guest soloist, Karen Bentley Pollick, whom you may know from not only a previous interview we did but also from the band Electric Diamond. This was a genuinely exciting work, and to see Pollick perform with the duo was a long-awaited treat as you saw a great deal of hard work and history being displayed on the stage. Along with intensity and rhythm from the soloists, a humorous-sounding conclusion seemed to surprise the audience, and in turn they met the piece with their approval.
Mr. Bresnick had a second piece on the program–his Trio for Piano, Cello and Violin, and joining them for this was violinist Courtney Orlando from the ensemble Alarm Will Sound. Though an older work of Bresnick’s, his trio is equally as active and colorful, and has a sort of dialogue between the violin and cello that was interpreted splendidly by Bathgate and Orlando. Both Orlando and Pollick gave wonderful performances here that would make them perfect additions to the ensemble if TwoSense ever decided to become a trio.
It is always such a treat to see recitals from this duo, hearing either new pieces or new performances of older pieces, and whether they are just a duo or have guest musicians, Lisa Moore and Ashley Bathgate are such grounded and well-versed players that know how to interpret the kind of music they choose to give, and give their all to such incredibly diverse works. Between Moore’s powerhouse piano and Bathgate’s radiant cello, TwoSense are like the perfect storm of chamber duos.
I personally think they were the reason the waters suddenly got rougher on the Barge during the concert.