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Trio plays with dynamic complexity

Sitkovetsky Piano Trio

The Earl Cameron Theatre at City Hall

Wednesday February 13, 2013

This piano, violin and cello concert took the audience along a road upon which much of western classical music has travelled.

There were performances of works which are representative of their period, and a look over the horizon to what was coming next.

The international prize-winning Sitkovetsky Trio is Alexander Sitkovetsky on the violin, Wu Qian playing the piano and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich.

Their concert on Wednesday evening at the Earl Cameron Theatre at City Hall opened with ‘Piano Trio No 39 in G Major’, ‘Gypsy’ by Joseph Haydn, who lived between 1732 and 1809. In three movements, the exotic and exciting presto is the one that many people know, and it is the reason the piece is called ‘Gypsy’.

It is a terrific piece of music that delighted the audience.

The andante and poco adagio were not by any means cast into the shade the first movement should be the very last word in elegance, and it certainly was.

The trio also found all the beauty in the melodic line. The sonorous slow movement is gorgeously melodic as well, and the piano created a particularly bright backdrop for the strings that were carrying those melodies.

‘No 2 Op 87 in C Major’ by Johannes Brahms brought us to the end of the 19th century, and it is indeed a much more modern-sounding piece of music which, typically of the composer, is complex and intriguing. The tempo’s sense of constancy in the first movement, the allegro moderato, provided an anchor for the dynamic solemnity which really marked it, while the trio’s interpretation of the andante con moto was moodily evocative.

The two first movements provided a direct contrast to the third. Fast-paced and bordering on real modernity, it was especially interesting with some extreme diametrics between the instruments. Impressionism at its most accessible made the fourth movement an easy pleasure to which to listen, although it was still interesting to listen for each instrument’s contrasting parts.

The second half of the concert was devoted to a performance of Antonin Dvoák’s ‘Piano Trio No 3 in F Minor’, which was written in the aftermath of the composer’s mother’s death, a loss which clearly was extremely difficult for him as the piece describes the deepest mourning.

Of the three pieces, the Sitkovetsky Piano Trio seemed to have a special affection for this one. Their interpretation was especially heart-felt and thoughtful, and it was beautifully executed. The floods of grief described here were interspersed by the happiest of memories; sunny moments peeking through the darkest of clouds.

The emotional journey concludes with the finale: allegro con brio, which the trio infused with plenty of dynamic complexity that really did engage the audience, and the movement ultimately concluded with a sense of courage and cohesion and perhaps of healing.

Following on the heels of the Palestinian-Israeli piano duo Duo Amal, the week has been one of truly superlative music, and the Sitkovetsky Piano Trio provided another exceptional evening which was appreciated by an enthusiastic audience.

Violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky

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Published February 16, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated February 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm)

Trio plays with dynamic complexity

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