Christine Lamprea & Daniel
A homecoming, with fire and ice
December 16, 2013
It is counted as good fortune when a community is
able to export precious raw materials from local mines. It
is yet more gratifying to experience their transformation
into finely wrought finished products.
The cellist Christine Lamprea and the pianist Daniel
Anastasio, San Antonio natives and 2007 graduates from TMI
and Saint Mary’s Hall, respectively, pursued music on
disparate paths that eventually converged at the Juilliard
School in New York. They returned home for the holidays and
performed as a duo for the first time Sunday in Gallery
Nord. The concert sponsor was Musical Bridges Around the
World. The intelligent and challenging program: Leos
Janacek’s “Pohádka,” Benjamin Britten’s Cello Sonata in C
and Johannes Brahms’s Cello Sonata No. 2 in F.
The performances were big, gregarious, stylish, rhythmically
alert and technically assured all around. The two
players differed in musical temperament, but in a way that
allowed them to complement rather than collide with one
Ms. Lamprea was the firebrand of the pair. She spit
out feral pizzicati in Janacek, and in the opening statement
of the Brahms she hurled the discrete phrases like so many
Molotov cocktails. She held nothing back, but she possessed
the underlying discipline to make all the risks pay off. She
projected a huge, taffeta-textured sound, almost
overwhelming the open-lidded piano in the very live gallery
space. Something else: She seemed to relish the materiality
of sound production — the tender/tough touch of bow hair on
strings, the physical act of making music.
Mr. Anastasio favored patrician clarity and the long view.
His playing was generally cooler than Ms. Lamprea’s, but no
less lively or colorful. He was especially effective in the
Britten sonata’s theatrical gestures, such as the
cat-and-mouse byplay in the scherzo. Free of apparent
technical limitations, he effortlessly spun Brahms’s busy
piano part into cogent paragraphs providing solid support
for the cello line.