|Haydn||–||Trio Op. 39 The Gypsy|
|Mendelssohn||–||Trio No. 1 in D minor|
|Shostakovich||–||Trio No. 1 in C minor|
|Brahms||–||Trio Op. 87 in C major|
|Haydn Gypsy Trio|
Recently selected by Making Music's Concert Promoters' Network as featured artists for 2012/13, the Erato Piano Trio is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the UK’s leading young ensembles, praised for their virtuosity, outstanding musicianship and stylistic versatility alike. As first prize winners of the Anglo-Czech Trust Competition they currently pursue a busy schedule of recitals around the UK and the European mainland. Their repertoire extends from the classical works of Haydn, Hummel and Mozart over the romantic masterpieces to 20th century music by Schnittke, Avner Dorman and Mark-Anthony Turnage. Their interpretation of the Piano Trio by Alfred Schnittke was received enthusiastically by audiences and critics alike and led to an invitation by Professor Alexander Ivashkin, Schnittke’s close friend and biographer, to perform the work at the Centre for Russian Music in London.
Highlights of the past seasons have included performances at the Martinu Hall in Prague, the Shostakovich Celebration Concert at the Royal College of Music and most notably a hugely successful tour to Switzerland in 2007 as part of which they gave their much acclaimed debut at Zurich’s famous Tonhalle, performing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time alongside the distinguished Spanish clarinettist Joan Enric Lluna. They were selected onto the Concordia Foundation Young Artists Scheme in 2008 and subsequently performed a series of recitals at prestigious London venues including St. Martin in the Fields.
Recent performances have included their Welsh debut at the National Gallery in Cardiff, appearances at the Lower Machen and Uckfield Festivals, a tour to Sardinia as well as recitals for numerous UK chamber music societies. The current season sees them perform at venues such as Warwick Arts Centre, The Forge, St. James Piccadilly, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, and Queens Theatre Cambridge. Their strong commitment to contemporary music recently led them to launch a much acclaimed project with the composition faculty of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, as well as giving two world premieres of pieces written for the Erato Piano Trio. One of these, David Braid's Music for Dancers, will be released on the Toccata Classics label later this year.
The three young musicians have benefited from the guidance of Salvatore Accardo, Professor John Barstow MBE, Leonid Gorokhov, Ani Schnarch and the Chilingirian Quartet. They were also selected to perform in masterclasses with Lewis Kaplan as well as with legedary cellist and Beaux Arts Trio founder Bernard Greenhouse. They are currently continuing their training at Chamber Studio King's Place with renowned artists such as Paul Watkins, Susan Tomes, Richard Ireland and Christoph Richter, kindly supported by Philip Carne.
Unfortunately, due to a hand injury, Irina Botan was unable to perform for us. However, the Erato Trio secured the services of Simon Callaghan. More information about Simon is available on his website - Simon Callaghan.
The Music Club membership was delighted by the playing of the Erato Piano Trio at the first concert of the season. It was well accepted and appreciated by the audience although the Pianist Irina Bota had to be substituted due to an injury to her hand. We were not disappointed by the substitution.
The opening movement of the Haydn Trio was a bright and sparkling violin melody mirrored by the piano, the demands of the music being technically taxing. Both instruments carried the themes brilliantly. From the very beginning, the audience was captivated.
Both instruments continued to complement each other with the beautiful melody of the second Adagio movement, being supported gracefully by the cello. The third movement, the Gypsy Rondo, brought the main theme back and formed a catchy Gigue-like performance by all instruments.
It was a delightful start to the evening, although I personally would have liked to have heard a little more prominence from the cello at times.
I was delighted at the start of the Piano Trio by Mendelssohn when the cello opens with a lovely solo melody, followed by the piano accompaniment which seemingly disturbs the whole music. The entry of the violin brings some serenity before all three instruments provide a development of subject ideas and a vibrancy which shows off the technical capabilities of the players.
The whole Mendelssohn Trio provides moods of tranquillity interspersed with bright and cheerful themes which kept the audience attention at all times.
The second half of the evening delivered a different sentiment. The Piano Trio No 1 by Shostakovich, whilst basically atonal in its entirety in a minor key, provided some beautiful melodies, which could not be missed even by those who are not keen on a more modern composition. The music was exciting with drama, understandably so when the work is known to be dedicated to the girl who became his fiancée.
The final treat of the evening was Brahms C Major Piano Trio No 2, which gave a contrast to the preceding minor key work. The whole basis of the Brahms work was in the form of variations on a theme, with the originals returning in many guises. The athleticism of the piano in the first movement was notable with the two string instruments playing in unisons or octaves. The pianist’s hands seemed never to stop racing up and down the keys!
This is a typical Brahms composition in the building up to climax in the centre of the music development and dying back down into generally peaceful conclusions. The final movement, however, was much more extrovert and brought home to those listening how large a work this is and how taxing on the instrumentalists.
The Trio delivered the whole programme with virtuosity and professionalism; the audience showed their appreciation appropriately at the end of the evening. KP