RNCM Theatre, 27 October 2014
A splendid concert.
There were three astutely chosen works. Following the opulent melodies of Haydn’s Piano Trio in E flat major, we were given one of those ingeniously constructed artifacts that only the fertile genius of Mozart could have come up with. It was his Piano Trio in G major, a work of potent splendor. However, the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the closing performance of the original (1854) version of Brahms’ Piano Trio in B major.
When Brahms revised this work some decades after its original composition, in 1889 in fact, he basically cut it; his incisions pruned its branches and gave it a clearer, but an arguably more conventional form. That’s how the mature Brahms saw the matter. Yet unwieldy branches and weeds can, on being viewed from a different perspective, be seen as wondrous, luxuriant growths; and the original version had colour and complexity in abundance.
Anyway, the Vienna Piano Trio gave a strong performance of Brahms’ original work and allowed you to hear its beauty. They’re all fine musicians and showed a plentiful amount of interaction throughout. Stefan Mendl, the pianist, added a smidgeon of showmanship to proceedings but in essence they’re an efficient, well oiled machine.
At the end I reflected that whenever I hear Brahms, I like him. But he’s not a composer I seek out especially. Maybe I should. And another stray thought: sometimes, More is More.
Details of forthcoming MCCS concerts can be found here.