Claremont Trio, 'Serenata'

"Serenata" is the Claremont Trio's most recent album, featuring pieces by composers such as Gabriela Lena Frank, Helen Grime, Nico Muhly and more. NPR

February 28, 2022

Composer Gabriela Lena Frank hails from Berkeley, Calif., but her heart is in Peru. She cultivates musical roots from the Andean nation via her mother's side of the family. The third of her Four Folk Songs, performed by the Claremont Trio, struts with the flavor of the charango, the small lute-like instrument prominent in Peruvian folk music and first heard by many Americans in Simon and Garfunkel's "El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could)."

In this "Serenata," violinist Emily Bruskin and cellist Julia Bruskin pluck and strum their instruments, imitating the sparkle of the charango while pianist Andrea Lam offers an evocative, sensual melody in short stabbing chords. Frank is an artist on the rise. She's the composer-in-residence at the Philadelphia Orchestra and her opera The Last Dream of Frida and Diego receives its world premiere next season in San Diego.

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