No hijinks, but solid musicianship at Intermezzo opener
Published: July 9, 2013 09:30AM
Updated: July 9, 2013 09:30AM

The Intermezzo Chamber Music Series has been saving Salt Lake City chamber-music lovers the drive up Parleys Canyon every summer since 2003.

Monday’s season opener didn’t feature any of the hijinks that occasionally crop up at Intermezzo, but the other hallmarks of the series — a well-put-together program, performed with utmost professionalism by a handful of the area’s top musicians — were solidly in place. Pianist Vedrana Subotic, the series’ music director, anchored the evening. She joined two relative newcomers to the Utah Symphony, principal second violinist Claude Halter and cellist Anne Lee, in trios by Debussy and Dvorák; in between, she partnered each of the string players in a Debussy sonata. Each of those sonatas was written more than 30 years after the trio, giving listeners a glimpse at the evolution of the composer’s style.

Halter and Lee recently married, and their musical partnership was a happy one for Monday’s audience. Both played with a songful style, making long melodic lines flow with lyricism and grace. Debussy’s G Major Trio and Dvorák’s E Minor “Dumky” Trio were well-chosen bookends, allowing the couple and Subotic to play up the works’ contrasting styles and colors: lightness and a hint of mystery in the Debussy, more overt emotionalism in the Dvorák. There were several moments in the Dvorák trio, in particular, that seemed almost like a dialogue between Halter and Lee, but it would be a mistake to underestimate Subotic’s contribution. Her playing was integrated seamlessly and thoughtfully into the texture of the trio.

Intermezzo Chamber Music Series

The summer series opens with music of Debussy and Dvorák.

With • Violinist Claude Halter, cellist Anne Lee and pianist Vedrana Subotic.

When • Monday.

Next • The series continues Monday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Vieve Gore Concert Hall at Westminster College, 1250 E. 1700 South, Salt Lake City. Information at www.intermezzoconcerts.org.