The classical trio genre of piano, violin and cello has served both composers and performers long and well, with composers great and small exploring the paths opened by Haydn. So extensive is the literature that the Yuval Trio, founded in Tel Aviv in 1869, has enjoyed a continuous life without seeming to exhaust its specialty.
Wednesday evening, the group provided a good example of the uses to which present-day performers put the combination, for Music Guild subscribers at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.
The Yuval musicians are well matched. In Jonathan Zak they have a pianist of flexible power who can extend himself without submerging his colleagues. The violin of Uri Pianka carries a songful top line and while cellist Simca Heled is the most modest member of the ensemble, he upholds his part sensibly.
The group held close to conventional attitudes in Beethoven’s Trio, Opus 1, No. 2, and managed to infuse enough warmth into Brahms’ Trio in B, Opus 8, to make its musical and technical style recognizable.
Larger gestures were called for in the Tchaikovsky Trio in A minor, Opus 50, and here the group rose to the expressive and technical demands with distinct authority. The orchestral scale might have been enlarged a bit, but reticence and taste proved the better parts of valor. The Guild audience was large and applausive.