Concert Review | TheaterJones

Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth, "No Translation Necessary"

Prokofiev distilled an incredible range of influences, moods, and ideas in his brief Sonata for Two Violins, the work with which the program opened. Here, the group’s artistic director Gary Levinson (a very busy man who also serves as senior principal associate concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony) joined guest violinist Francesca dePasquale (a member of the music faculty at Rutgers and a protégé of Itzhak Perlman) here for an exemplary performance in which two violinists blended their distinctive qualities in perfect ensemble, while preserving their individual voices. The shadow of J.S. Bach’s short, lean keyboard works (e.g., the Inventions and many of the Preludes) loomed large here, with the two violins occasionally merging into striking—and, in this case, perfectly intoned—unisons.

DePasquale, a violinist we’d definitely love to hear more from, joined pianist Paul Nersessian, a member of the faculties of the Moscow Conservatory and Boston University, for Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 1. Prokofiev launches this work with a lonely, piano-dominated first movement; hints of the composer’s contemporaneous ballet scores abound the second. But the most memorable of many moments arrived in the Andante third movement, in which a rippling piano part accompanies an aria for violin, presented with soaring but always clean lyricism by DePasquale.