Taking its identify from Stravinsky’s revered ballet suite, the Firebird Trio has for twelve years constantly carried out passionate musical packages modelling their supply on the qualities of the phoenix, the legendary hen illustrated with golden feathers and crystal eyes, which glows with brilliant red-orange plumage. How good was the setting for chamber music within the autumn colors of Beleura’s home and backyard. How good was the passionate and brightly colored efficiency by three excellent musicians.
In a world the place introductory speeches at live shows appear to be rising vastly, how good had been the transient, candid, and humoured phrases of violinist Curt Thompson, describing a private “connection” with Beleura’s distinctive musical heritage by way of its proprietor John Tallis, musician and pianist whose identify is embedded within the Melbourne Conservatorium’s Tallis Wing, the place Thompson is Head of Strings. Dorcas McLean, a advantageous musician and beneficiant benefactor additionally shared the historical past of Beleura, performing there, and in addition establishing a extremely prized legacy by way of the Conservatorium, with the Dorcas McLean Competitors for Strings. We felt too that we had been sharing the musical historical past.
A diversified program of music thoughtfully related us with composers of Viennese affiliation. Opening this system was Kreisler’s common Liebeslied, a chunk related to the Romantic waltz, however at this time given a vigorous, expressive and richly timbred supply. Thompson created contemporary, passionate and lusty statements, moderately than present a nostalgic sense or a pastiche of the lighter round waltz. Pianist Berta Brozgul at this time changed Trio resident Ben Martin, completely exhibiting us exemplary musicianship and finely tuned accompanying expertise. As we speak, Liebeslied was a showcase of three stylish performers enjoying very good devices, bringing a variety of orchestral colors to the composer’s notation with persona, technical precision and tonal variations. Our hearts, minds and senses had been absolutely enveloped.
Mozart’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in G, K301 allowed Brozgul to completely reveal her clever and masterly piano enjoying, all the time glowing and crystal clear, invigorating and detailed, her manner all the time relaxed and composed. I’m wondering what Mozart would have made from the Stuart & Sons live performance grand piano with its heftier prospects, because the higher additional octave can turn into metallic and percussive in fortissimo sections, however Brozgul was in a position so as to add the flavour of low orchestral color in advantageous style. There was good cohesion in pauses, entries after silences, and considerate melodic dialog. Within the second motion, Thompson confirmed robust strong enjoying, contrasting the color of a brand new timbre superbly for the minor key part, his excessive softness and sweetness being a problem for any Stuart and Sons live performance grand piano to match.
Josie Vains joined them for Schubert’s Notturno, D897, revealing her true firebird colors in a passionate and extremely expressive efficiency. The Trio painted a richly nuanced portrait of the work, described by one member of the viewers as being so great to listen to, reside, for the primary time ever, as she had solely ever heard it on the radio. Emotional, wealthy in luxuriant and romantic timbres, this music touched each listener.
Our familiarity with Webern has normally come from his place alongside Berg and Schoenberg within the growth of atonal and twelve-tone music within the early 20th century, so it was a shock to listen to one among his very early works. Composed in 1899, Webern’s Items for Cello and Piano allowed Vains to reveal her cello’s nice depth of sound, in tonal melodies that took lengthy vast steps by way of romantic statements that confirmed an earthy expression with none sentimentality. In an analogous method, seeing Percy Grainger’s association of My Robin is to the Greenwood Gone on this system, we had been anticipating a sturdy people dance setting, however had been properly stunned by a stately and dignified association of a sluggish, common English Renaissance tune. In a sarabande-like setting, there have been touches of nostalgia, a pastoral air, grace and magnificence, however Grainger’s distinctive quirkiness and modern chords and colors had been in there, resulting in a really stunning coda with mushy fragments, a combination of silences and low, mushy and spaced staccato chords including a curious contact.
One other stunning vibrant instrumental was added to this autumn program – Ben Martin’s association of Lady of My Goals, a 1927 common track by Sunny Clapp, given new life not too long ago by vocalist Etta James. Contemporary and vibrant, the instrumental setting at this time was like a sluggish rag really feel, nearly a stylized swing really feel, gently designed to not ruffle the Firebird’s feathers.
Haydn’s Piano Trio in G, the well-known Gypsy Rondo, was one other textbook efficiency, with detailed technical execution and aptitude. Once more, Brozgul confirmed clearly outlined timbres in her exact and vibrant piano accompaniment. In opposition to rippling triplets within the piano accompaniment, Thompson confirmed extra-beautiful expression within the Andante second motion, exhibiting why this melody was one among Pablo Casals’ favourites. Whereas the third motion was not fairly Presto, and Hungarian gypsy parts extra classical and easy, there was loads of fireplace and razzle dazzle to finish a really rewarding musical program.
Picture courtesy Beleura Home.
Julie McErlain reviewed the efficiency given by Firebird Trio at Beleura Home on Could 5, 2022.