I caught this concert at Wigmore Hall via BBC3 yesterday afternoon. It should be up on their iPlayer for listening either already or very soon. (Thanks Rob for letting me know this was on!)
I’m a fan of this trio. Every performance of theirs that I’ve heard either via live radio or on CD has been both exciting to listen to and interpretively compelling. Never a dull moment. I’m hoping they’ll make another CD soon (so far they’ve recorded Beethoven’s Op. 9 trios, and Mozart’s divertimento K563).
In this concert we get Beethoven’s serenade in D Op. 8, his trio in E flat Op. 3, and a trio by Paul Hindemith, who apparently claimed that chamber music was a dying genre but perversely continued to write it.
I would need to hear the Hindemith a few more times to really get a handle on it, but I did like it. The Beethoven Op. 3 trio was full of all kinds of neat little moments of contrast – e.g. the opening bars, which were really quick and urgent the first time, but on the repeat were more relaxed; or the playfulness of the second movement, which had just the right amount of forward momentum. Again, there is never any lack of energy with this ensemble. Both in the last movement of Op. 3 and in the Op. 8 serenade, there were several points where they really played with the tempo, and the little hesitations and pauses always feel perfectly timed. They also performed an encore, the scherzo from from Beethoven’s C minor Op. 9 trio.
As I guess a bonus during the intermission we radio listeners were regaled with some music from Thomas Arne because it was Arne’s birthday. He would have been three hundred and three. The music was an older recording by Emma Kirkby and the AAM, one of those ones that always makes me think of doofus sweaters from the 1980s because that is what Christopher Hogwood and most of the AAM were always wearing on the album covers. (I will say this for Kirkby: her voice and style are not always my cup of tea, but I have never seen her attired in a doofus sweater. But maybe she wears them when she’s just kicking around the house thinking about purity of tone.)