Mighty cosmopolitan romp
CHAMBER ensembles don't come much more cosmopolitan than the Tivoli Piano Trio. Its pianist (Yoko Arai) is Japanese, its cellist (Nella Hunkins) is a New Yorker, while its violinist (Edgar Bailey) was Gloucestershire's Young Musician of the Year in 2007. Fortunately they have found a common language in music.
The start of the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor, however, was rather like my car on a winter morning – sluggish and lacking in pizzazz. But once the musicians had warmed up, their playing really purred along.
The delicate piano introduction to the slow movement was followed by some graceful string playing and a dreamy, tranquil trio.
The scherzo was a scintillating romp full of virtuosity – exactly as you expect from Mendelssohn, while the finale was a lively affair in which the pianist's fingers scurried up and down the keyboard at great speed.
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An equally substantial work followed: Brahms' Piano Trio in C major. Its mighty opening movement was performed with great fervour.
In the scherzo it seemed as if Brahms had decided to emulate Mendelssohn. The performance was characterised by a lightness of touch and sense of mischief. The bustling finale was everything a final movement should be - full of drama, passion and total engagement between the musicians.
Concerts of this quality explain why the Tuesday Lunchtime Recitals have such a large and devoted following. .