The ultimate, most essential ingredient, after all, was the music itself. Opening this system was the Op. 22 No 1 of Clara Schumann, her Romance for Violin and Piano (the primary of three), composed in 1853. Quick as it’s, it is a work over which to swoon – to lose oneself in its appeal and sweetness. It’s quintessentially of music’s Romantic interval, merely dripping with lyricism, sweeping melodies and luscious harmonies. The Hanoverian king of the time took “marvellous, heavenly pleasure” from them.
Each devices share the limelight equally on this quick work. After the piano’s transient introduction, orchestra concertmaster, Kirsten Williams, and pianist, Susanne Powell, gave reality to the Aristotle-attributed adage, ‘the entire is bigger than the sum of the components’.
They complemented one another brilliantly, every giving approach to the opposite when required, however at all times in good steadiness, delivering a cohesive sound, and enveloping the viewers in wealthy, sonorous magnificence. On the finish of the piece the viewers was nearly taken unexpectedly, such was their state of swoon; a delayed, tentative applause appeared to be, maybe, simply as is likely to be given on the finish of a motion in a multi-movement work.
All of it made me surprise why even the mid-Nineteenth century gender prejudices had been so sturdy and stuffy as to face in the way in which of correct recognition for a lot of Clara Schumann’s compositional output. Clara herself stated, little question with a sigh of resignation, “Girls aren’t born to compose”. Few artists, aside from husband Robert and herself, ever carried out her works, and that remained so even as much as the Nineteen Seventies. What injustice! What number of thousands and thousands went via life with out ever listening to the wonderful outcomes of Clara Schumann’s artistic thoughts?
Then it was on to Franz Schubert and his much-loved Quintet for Piano and Strings in A, D.667, The Trout. Becoming a member of Williams and Powell had been the CSO’s strings principals – violist, Tor Frømyhr, cellist, Patrick Suthers, and double bassist, Max McBride.
Schubert was 22 when he wrote The Trout in 1819. So, there’s quite a lot of youthful exuberance within the work, together with loads of syncopation. However, after its premiere, which featured Schubert’s commissioning cellist buddy, Sylvester Paumgartner, it fell into neglect for a decade. was not revealed till 1829, a 12 months after Schubert’s premature dying. It was solely then that The Trout topped the charts. Practically two centuries on and it nonetheless is among the high favourites within the classical chamber music canon.
The ensemble made a really promising begin to the five-movement work. Very good steadiness, nicely-paced tempi, and readability in seamless lead-passing had been all accented by expressive and assured taking part in. The Q&As had been exquisitely dealt with. On the piano, Powell had clearly practised her scales, for there was unusual fluidity and evenness in all her many runs up and down the keyboard.
The second motion, marked Andante, appeared a tad sluggish – extra a stroll than a stroll – and the ensemble cohesion suffered somewhat from it, particularly in direction of the tip of the primary part.
The well-known and full of life third – the Scherzo and Trio – noticed a return to the boldness of the primary, with a stable begin, exuding the brightness and happiness – that youthful exuberance – inherent throughout the work. The Trio started somewhat tentatively, and general, somewhat sluggish, however the ensemble cohesion stayed very a lot collectively because it returned to the Scherzo on the finish.
The fourth motion is a (fairly quick) theme and variations, launched by the strings alone. The gamers achieved a stunning softness and gentleness right here, and, when the piano joined in, the complete playfulness of the theme was realised. Then, via the variations, there have been many great moments – a lyrical lead of romance from the cello, an interesting dialog between the violin and cello, and myriad mild and ethereal passages from the piano.
The ultimate motion, Allegro Giusto, was simply that. It was performed with vigour and vibrant color. Williams’ violin was mild and ethereal – maybe somewhat an excessive amount of so, for it sometimes was misplaced within the ensemble sound, making the steadiness tip to the bass finish. However there was no denying that these artists had been of their component; they had been having fun with themselves!
The viewers definitely did too, twice recalling these high quality musicians to the entrance. How good it was to benefit from the musicianship of a number of the greatest within the enterprise, in a chamber music setting.