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Vienna Piano Trio

Manchester Chamber Concerts Society

RNCM Theatre, 27 October 2014

© 2012 Wiener Klaviertrio - Vienna Piano Trio

© 2012 Wiener Klaviertrio – Vienna Piano Trio

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.