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The transformative power of music

An eloquent Schumann Trio tops the Sarasota Festival, reviewed by LAWRENCE BUDMEN


The romance and passion of Robert Schumann's music mask the dark side of this troubled composer's life. In 1843 Schumann suffered the first of a series of nervous breakdowns which would prefigure the composer's final mental collapse. Schumann experienced a 'return to life' in the late 1840s -- his creative batteries recharged, his impetus to compose newly rejuvenated. From this period comes the triumphant Second Symphony. In 1847 Schumann penned one of his greatest chamber music scores -- the Piano Trio No 1 in D minor Op 63. An eloquent performance of that masterwork capped a weekend of concerts at the Sarasota (Florida, USA) Music Festival.

Sarasota has long been a tourist mecca on Florida's Gulf Coast. For the past four decades Paul Wolfe has organized and directed a world class chamber music festival there. Distinguished artists from around the globe come to teach master classes and coach fifty student musicians (who are chosen from over a thousand auditioned applicants). The faculty and student concerts feature performances of tremendous vitality and enthusiasm. Mature artists and students alike rediscover the joy of making music! (The festival is not Sarasota's only musical oasis. The Sarasota Opera -- under conductor Victor DeRenzi -- has been acclaimed for its ongoing cycle of the complete Verdi operas. The Florida West Coast Symphony -- under awarding winning musical director Leif Bjaland -- is a rising professional ensemble.)

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Copyright © 24 June 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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