By Lawrence Budmen 

When pianist Jose Lopez was unable to perform (due to illness in his family) at the Mainly Mozart Festival on June 18, Tao Lin, who has been a formidable keyboard presence on South Floridaís music scene for nearly a decade, became the pianistic member of The Dalberghi Trio. In the intimate, civilized ambience of the ballroom at the Omni Colonnade Hotel in Coral Gables, these afternoon musicales are graced by the informative and urbane commentary of University of Miami Music Professor Frank Cooper.

Tao Lin was most impressive in his solo offering Ė Haydnís Piano Sonata No.50 in C Major. While Papa Haydnís role in music history as father of the symphony and the string quartet has long been acknowledged, his contribution to the keyboard sonata genre was highly significant. The large scale structural patterns of the first two movements of the Sonata No.50 (the first of the composerís final three essays in this musical form) were the genesis for Mozartís creative surges and Beethovenís reinvention of the piano sonata. 

From the opening chords of the sonataís initial Allegro, Tao Lin offered inspired music making. A superior classical stylist, he combined crisp articulation with impressive digital dexterity and command. In the Adagio, he illuminated Haydnís wonderfully ingenuous interplay of modulations between major and minor keys. In the Allegro molto finale he vividly captured the musicís capricious wit and sly humor. Tao Linís performance was replete with brio and ťlan. Here was consummate musicianship and superbly idiomatic musicality. 

Mozartís Piano Trio in C Major, K.548 was originally written for the standard combination of piano, violin, and cello. The work also exists in a version for clarinet (in place of the violin part). This rarely heard transcription was gamely tackled by The Dalberghi Trio. Differences between violin and clarinet abound. Mozartís melodies take on a greater melancholy aura in this version. The clarinet writing is close to unplayable. Richard Hancock, principal clarinet of the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia, was a hard working, musically subtle protagonist. Susan Moyer (like Hancock, a former member of the Florida Philharmonic and now a member of the string section of the Boca Symphonia and Naples Philharmonic) played the cello part with resonant tone and flair. Tao Lin made a lively pianistic contribution. The concluding Allegro was played with appropriate lilt and grace. These hard working artists deserve kudos for playing this edition Ė an interesting footnote in the Mozartean oeuvre. 

The Dalberghi Trioís traversal of Johannes Brahmsís great Clarinet Trio in A Minor, Op.114 would have benefited from additional rehearsal. While the outlines of a strong performance were present, the artists were not always artistically cohesive. Tao Lin offered strongly dramatic pianism in the grand romantic manner. Hancockís clarinet line was more restrained, less emphatic while Moyerís cello was coolly precise. This late Brahms work is remarkably passionate, glowingly autumnal music. The Dalberghi threesome was at their best in the third movement Andantino grazioso. Here they brought to life much of the lilting poignancy of Brahmsís inspired, unforgettable waltz-like motif. For that glowing moment, time stood still and the musicís inspired sentimentality glowed anew. That kind of experience is what makes the Mainly Mozart Festival indispensable to South Floridaís musical life.

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