The Chamber Music Society, this week, combines the work of two very different composers, each beloved in his own time and place, into a coherent whole. In Benjamin Britten’s Canticle, in which two singers tell the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, he not only captures the essence of Abraham’s predicament, but does it with the quintessential English voice that made him — in the opinion of many — the greatest English composer of the modern age. An early piano trio by Antonin Dvorák, who at the time was striving to perfect his craft to the standards of his German mentor Johannes Brahms, nevertheless breathes the unmistakable Bohemian air that still transports Dvorák’s listeners to the Town Square of the composer’s beloved home, the city of Prague.
Britten: Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac for Countertenor, Tenor, and Piano, Op. 51
— Daniel Taylor, countertenor; Anthony Griffey, tenor; Gloria Chien, piano.
Dvořák: Trio in G minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 26
— Gloria Chien, piano; Nicolas Dautricourt, violin; Nicolas Altstaedt, cello.