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  • David Kiser

The Palmetto Piano Trio at Sigal Music Museum

Palmetto Trio Program
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Back in October we were so happy to see many of our students attend our piano trio concert at one of Greenville's finest and newest cultural institutions, the Sigal Music Museum. The museum hosts concerts in an intimate setting. But the concerts are a side show to the incredible historic keyboard collection they have on display. We were very happy to see our students Nathan and Henry welcoming the audience. We performed music Mendelssohn and Schubert.

The Palmetto Piano Trio (+1) was formed by members and former members of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra in 2021 to play staples of the piano trio repertoire to audiences across the southeast. The trio is slightly unusual as the piano playing duties are shared between pianists David and Lisa Kiser (us). Audiences can look forward to varying temperaments and artistic interpretations during their performances. The Trio also hosts an interchanging crew of performers to play quartets and quintets. The Trio is always in flux.

Program Notes:

Schubert composed his Piano Trio No. 1 during the last year of his short life. The trio is of substantial length and development. The Allegro Moderato 1st movement is in Sonata form. The first theme catches the ear in its compelling argument for good but regal humor on the level of a Joseph Haydn. The slow movement is a barcarolle like lullaby. The following Scherzo and Trio is a quirky allusion to the humor of the first theme. Here the voices chase each other about in imitative counterpoint. The Rondo finale presents several themes that are repeated and transformed into a polonaise. The themes are unified in a clever way but still sound distinct. A concluding Presto section alludes to the fuguing Scherzo, this time with the pastoral sounds of horn calls.

Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor is one of the most dramatic and well-loved piano trios in the repertoire. Composed in 1839, Mendelssohn, taking advice from a friend, injected the piano part with virtuosic abandon that reaches the difficulty level of a full-blown piano concerto. Each of the movements is a masterwork alone, from the brooding 1st movement heard in the Korean Drama “Do You Like Brahms?” to the Song Without Words slow movement and concluding with an impish Scherzo and a breathtaking Finale in cut time.


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