This is a time of magnificent farewells in Fort Worth music. On Friday evening the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presented an exceptional program to start its final weekend of the 2015-16 season.
On Saturday afternoon the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth seconded the motion with an impressive goodbye of its own.
The Saturday program was in the Piano Pavilion of the Kimbell Art Museum — a temporary switch from the society’s usual venue, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
The performers were Alessandro Deljavan, one of the most remarkable contestants in the 2013 Cliburn Competition; pianist Daredjan Baya Kakouberi; violinist Gary Levinson; and cellist Andrés Díaz.
The repertoire of the afternoon promised great things. This included two pieces from Schubert’s miraculous final year and Schumann’s Sonata in A minor for violin and piano. Of the three, only Schubert’s Piano Trio in B-flat major, the final work of the afternoon, is played with any frequency.
Deljavan and Kakouberi sat at one piano to open the program with Schubert’s Fantasy in F minor for piano, four hands, D. 940 (there is a related class of pieces in which the two performers sit at separate pianos; Deljavan and Kakouberi chose the more intimate configuration).
The fantasy is a gorgeous composition, and Deljavan and Kakouberi gave it a subtle, deeply moving performance.
During the Cliburn, Deljavan often seemed a flamboyant performer, but Saturday afternoon, during this fantasy and elsewhere, he proved to be a subtle artist who was considerate of his colleagues. This was well-balanced musicmaking.
(By the way, Deljavan played throughout the program while wearing fingerless black gloves. This was new to me. Undoubtedly it served some useful purpose; Liszt also used gloves, but only to remove them in a flamboyant, audience-wowing gesture before starting to play.)
Levinson, artistic director of the Chamber Music Society, joined Deljavan for the Schumann sonata. They gave another superior performance, strong but flowing in the opening movement and fast and playful in the finale. In all, an appealing presentation of a work that has spent most of its time in the archives.
For the Schubert piano trio, one of the great works of its kind, cellist Díaz joined Levinson and Deljavan for a performance that explored the work’s many, and generally cheerful, moods. The lovely andante was a fabulous bit of musicmaking, and the forceful scherzo and joyous finale made an energetic conclusion.