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Mixed Company is written by Saint Paul Sunday staff, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the show and the classical music they love. We welcome your online comments.

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February 3, 2006

"Aahs" abounding

At 51 years young, the Beaux Arts Trio certainly lives up to its legendary reputation. Founder and pianist Menahem Pressler brings so much heart and soul to the group, and violinist Daniel Hope and cellist Antonio Meneses match him note for note at that high level of performance. The trio plays with a warmth and affection for the music that is never saccharine and always made our control room at the recording session sigh "aahh" at the end of each piece (especially Mendelssohn's Dumky Trio).

But Menahem Pressler is clearly the trio's inspiration. Both Daniel Hope and Antonio Meneses are celebrity soloists with brilliant solo careers so it was amazing to see them treat him with such respect and deference. Watching world-renowned musicians hang on Menahem's every word made me realize that I was in the presence of a truly great master.

During the program, Daniel and Antonio each reflected on the first performance of the Beaux Arts Trio that they ever attended. Have you ever seen the Beaux Arts Trio in performance? What was the experience like?

Posted by Suzanne Schaffer at February 3, 2006 12:32 PM



After spending an hour this morning listening to news about mideast embassies being torched over offensive cartoons by people who ONLY SHOW WHY THE CARTOONS WERE PUBLISHED I then switched to the Beaux Art trio program and feel that the world COULD heal if we just could hear more music like this played by this amazing trio.
- Justin R

By Justin Rice at February 5, 2006 9:18 AM


There was so much deftness of skill, wisdom,(which transcends the ages of all 3 in the NEW Beaux Arts Trio) and wonderful expressiveness in the music this chamber group performed so beautifully! The compositions were all so different from each other, all quite haunting, at times exciting,( as with the Shostakovich) and tender,( particularly the Mendelssohn and Dvorak) and all handled so adeptly. It gave me pause for thought and that is a very good thing! Thank you for bringing us this especially good program!

By vinca k renner at February 5, 2006 2:24 PM


I am listening now to the Beaux Arts broadcast and I wept as I heard the Shostakovich. I had heard this movement previously on the radio. It was not identified, but I felt it was a dance of death and must be Holocaust music. Now that I have heard that the melody is based on a Chasidic melody, it is clear that I was right. I need to buy the recording and hear the rest of the piece.
Thank you. And thank you for your literate, intelligent,wonderful Sunday (evening) program, which I rarely miss.

By rayna gillman at February 5, 2006 9:48 PM


Ack! Talk about musical blunders. Mendelssohn in fact did not write the Dumky Trio, that was Dvorak. I had intended to write "Mendelssohn and the Dumky Trio," but clearly that's not what I did. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed both trios, as I did.

By Suzanne Schaffer at February 6, 2006 10:03 AM


I cannot tell you how much I loved this performance! I feel guilty for playing it over and over on my computer! But I can't get enough of the nobility of the Beethoven and the MANY wonderful expressions of the Shostakovich. Thanks for the great show. Robert Villa, Tucson, AZ

By Robert Villa at October 28, 2006 11:40 AM