To conclude our Spring 2014 season, we welcomed back Carlina Carr, Warren Zielinski and Ian Burdge - all of whom had played for us before, but not previously as a trio. We knew to expect an evening of wonderful musicianship, and so it proved once again. It was also a programme of great variety, with piano trios by Haydn, Brahms and Ravel, quite different in style and each making its particular demands on the players.
Haydn'sTrio in C was more than just the warm-up for what followed: as the programme notes said, the late trios are "regarded as masterpieces of the genre". It was played with great delicacy and the middle Andante in partcular showed off the lovely tone of both violin and cello. Come to that, the church's Bechstein didn't sound bad, either!
Brahms' second Trio, also in C maj, has a muscular quality that quite belies the (unfounded) image of chamber music as genteel easy-listening. The players seemed really to enjoy bringing out the romantic contrasts, from "mutterings" in the minor key to soaring melodies. The Finale was a triumphant conclusion to the first half of our concert.
After the interval the single work was Ravel's Trio in A minor, written on the eve of the first world war. Ravel pushed the sound of the piano trio in all sorts of innovative directions, with each movement bringing new surprises: the opening of the passacaglia right in the depths of the piano's range, or the use of harmonics on both string instruments, being just two examples. I suspect the work was new to most of the audience but it was clear that they loved every moment of this performance and they gave the players a well-deserved ovation at the end.
We are hugely grateful to the musicians for their generosity and willingness to come and play for us in Marlow. Many thanks and we do hope that you will come again!
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