Exploring the repertoire

Cavendish String Trio, The Cut, Halesworth, December 11th The string trio is a much rarer phenomenon than the string quartet, one of the principal reasons for which is that it lacks the latter's huge repertoire.

Cavendish String Trio, The Cut, Halesworth, December 11th

The string trio is a much rarer phenomenon than the string quartet, one of the principal reasons for which is that it lacks the latter's huge repertoire. Composers seem to have found it a difficult medium, and, for the performer it is, if anything, more demanding than the string quartet.

Nevertheless, the young members of the Cavendish String Trio, are committed to this repertoire and already perform it with authority.

An excellent choice with which to begin their recital, Dochnanyi's five movement Serenade of 1901 is a reinterpretation of the classical serenade. It is an attractive work, though making strenuous demands of the performers.


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The Cavendish met these with fresh alert playing, the technical difficulties, especially in the tricky scherzo, dispatched with confidence, and elsewhere there was much sensitive playing, notably Helen Picknet's lovely viola solo at the opening of the Romanza.

The Cavendish's performance of Beethoven's 3rd C minor Trio, opus 9 was not quite as impressive. Though an early work it already bears the stamp of Beethoven's individual voice, and it needed more exaggeration of these characteristics for the music to make its real impact.

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It's hard to imagine a greater contrast with the Beethoven than what came next. The American composer John Harbison's trio is a micro work in four movements, each marked fast and lasting no more than a couple of minutes each: pure fun.

Finally, Lennox Berkely's trio, written in 1943. Here the Cavendish gave an eloquent account of this elegant and beautifully crafted music which, like much of Berkely's chamber music deserves to be better known.

FRANK CLIFF

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