Food for thought, solace to the soul, excitement and delight. All were there in this concert – Birmingham Chamber Music Society delivering an innovative programme engaging an audience of all ages.
Beginning with Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D (Ghost), the Rosamunde Trio set the evening’s high standards. Unfortunately the emphatic bright piano tone was ill-matched with the more subtle character of a Villaume violin and Guadanini cello, occasionally overwhelming them.
The eerie slow movement captivated with Gothic gloom; beautifully paced, moving from dramatic crescendo to the curious pizzicato in a final sigh.
A more sympathetically matched finale highlighted fine unison passages, concluding with further mysterious pizzicato.
Contemporary works feature regularly in BCMS concerts. The evocative ‘Softly in the dusk . . .’ by Peter Fribbins was another nostalgic haunting work based on a D.H.Lawrence poem. Commissioned by the trio, this yearning work featured filigree treble piano, pleading strings and charming violin accompanied by a rocking cello, sensitively developed with joint intelligence. Short but sweet . . . a repeat performance would have been welcomed.
Post-interval featured another BCMS innovation.
A specialist solo spot was taken by multi-talented nine year-old pianist Protik Moulik for a short airing of his impressive talent, playing Chopin and Smetana.
Tchaikovsky’s monumental Piano Trio in A minor was written in memory of the great pianist Nikolai Rubinstein. An epic first movement matches the First Piano Concerto in length and complexity, followed by extraordinarily varied and complex Theme and Variations. Every mood was highlighted with imagination and passion, from dancing waltz to meaty fugue.
Occasionally intonation in high treble was a problem for the violin, but overall impact was truly magnificent, meriting a charming Dvorak encore.