Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ahn Trio October 27, 2012

The Ahn Trio: Triumph Times Three at Cerritos

                 By Glen Creason

     You knew the Ahn ladies meant business just by looking at the program filled with contemporary classical music and composers maybe not known to most folks who fill concert halls. You have to have great confidence in your playing and the chosen works to bring an entire evening of daring choices to the big hall but this threesome lacked nothing in talent, execution and good taste on this evening.  Even the spoken introductions showed passion for the eclectic compositions which ranged from Avant-garde to dreamy lyricism, demonstrating great versatility and an astounding synchronicity between each of the women. Once again, the hall could have been better filled with local music lovers who really missed out on some special moments but maybe the upcoming holiday season will bring out Cerritos folks in greater numbers.
    On this night there were just two Ahn sisters instead of the usual three but one third of the sibling triumvirate was home nursing a couple of week old baby which probably trumps nursing a Steinway in a concert hall. The adopted Ahn on this night was the rather perfect Azusa Hokugo who not only held her own but made her moments transcendent, matching the very high levels of violinist Angella and cellist Maria who seem to speak to each other with their instruments. The opening piece was by Brazilian composer Nelson Ayres and was one of the most adventurous of the night. In three movements the “Paisagens Brasileiras Suite” took us on a journey across musical landscapes of rivers, lush mountains and a rather energetic and compelling desert with percussion created by the Ahn’s hands on the strings. The suite was thoroughly modern but connected by lyrical passages that ventured into the Jazz realm somewhat. “Insensatez” by three Brazilian composers continued the very contemporary mood of the evening while making demands on the Ahn sisters nimble fingering kept together by a Hokugo’s fine piano line. The first half was completed with two of the five beautiful and completely different works by Kenji Bunch, a fellow New Yorker. “Concrete Stream” was an amazing juxtaposition of urban and rural expression with Angella and Maria speaking together, sometimes meeting headlong and sometimes gliding into stops and making starts before the other had finished. The NYC theme continued with the nightlife portrayed in the introspective “Deep Night” then moving into a cacophony of sounds called “Groove Box” which was filled with pulsing energy, even riotous sweating movement expressed by the refined violin, cello and piano.
     The second half contained the most memorable music of the concert, even after a fine beginning. Jazz guitarist/composer Pat Metheny’s “Yu Ryung” written expressly for the Ahn trio made perfect sense, painting a picture of the multi-colored vibrancy of Seoul’s night society. Three more compositions by Kenji Bunch provided the highlights of the concert with the stunningly beautiful “Dies Irie,” and the perfectly titled “Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac” with a delicately thin but sweet melody that unfolded like spun gold out of the interplay of all three women. “Backstep” was a surprising rouser with a bluegrass pedigree and the finale “Skylife” by David Balakrishnan just finished a fine evening with a flourish.