Robert Martin may have retired from the Sequoia Quartet, but that, happily, hasn't interfered with his impulse to play chamber music.
Sunday, the cellist and his friend of 25 years, Miwako Watanabe (the Sequoians' second violin), joined pianist Antoinette Perry for an afternoon of Beethoven at Gindi Auditorium. It was a superb performance of great music, the kind that makes a listener glad to be alive and receiving such a gift.
It was also the first of three concerts surveying Beethoven's trio cycle, along with choice bagatelles. Martin produces the series, a sort of family affair with his and Watanabe's children acting as ushers. So far the trio is nameless. But time may change that.
Meanwhile, the first event offered a shrewdly chosen and ordered bill: an early and a middle trio, interspersed with a set of variations and a charming Allegretto written for the daughter of Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved." On paper, especially with Michael Steinberg's illuminating program notes, and in performance, the agenda was nothing if not engaging.