Review: Trio Isimsiz, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Snape Proms, August 10

Trio Isimsiz who performed at Snape Proms Photo Kaupo Kikkas

Trio Isimsiz who performed at Snape Proms Photo Kaupo Kikkas - Credit: Archant

Formed nearly a decade ago, the Trio Isimsiz has a considerable reputation, both collectively and individually. There is youthful exuberance still but also ample evidence of considered study and increasing maturity.

The concert opened with Haydn’s Piano Trio in A flat, a relatively late work composed in 1794. Pianist Erdem Misirlioglu was crisp and fluent in the bravura sections and violinist Pablo Hernan Benedi delivered the central theme of the Adagio with delicacy and finesse. Even if the work was not Haydn at his best, the performance was accomplished and enjoyable.

Mendelssohn’s second piano trio was composed four years before his death and when both his physical and mental states were showing signs of decline. The quality of the music is generally high but there are passages of turbulence and angst in the outer movements that surely reflect the composer’s precarious situation. These sections were played with tremendous energy and elan and the ensemble was sufficiently secure to perfectly capture the fluctuating moods. The placid Andante was nicely sustained and the scurrying scherzo – so reminiscent of the Midsummer Night’s Dream music – was played with outstanding delicacy and brio.

Brahms’ B major Trio was first composed when he was just twenty one, revelling in his pianistic skills and flexing his compositional muscles. Thirty five years later, certainly wiser and possibly sadder, he revised and reduced it and in doing so he finally delivered one of the best loved and most successful examples of the genre. These gifted instrumentalists gave a performance wholly worthy of the work’s stature. After the opening piano chords cellist Michael Petrov gave the opening theme with impressive assurance and authority. From then on the substantial movement grew, tree-like, in several directions but there was always a sense of organic growth and purpose. The bucolic scherzo and delicious trio were an absolute delight and Misirlioglu then ushered us into the sepulchral calm of the slow movement with superbly weighted chords which both violinist and cellist augmented felicitously.

Skilled piano and string playing combined with the genius of three major composers made for a most enjoyable evening’s music-making.

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Gareth Jones

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