There is always something exciting about booking artistes at least a year ahead of their appearance of the Hertford music Club. The Jorgensen Piano Trio was strongly recommended to me and what a recommendation! We were amazed at their confidence and superb ensemble playing.
A programme of considerable contrast had been devised in memory of Jean Boyter, erstwhile piano teacher and treasurer to the music club for many years. It was with her in mind that her favourite composers were chosen, namely Mozart and Shostakovich.
It is often a feature of concept programming to put the most challenging work just before the interval so that people don’t leave after the first half. However, on this occasion our trio chose to put the Shostakovich last. This was a wise move because it was a major piece of music and we needed warming up for it.
The programme started with two very familiar composers and two of their finest works: Mozart’s piano Trio in G may have been his last work in the genre, abounding as it was with lively rhythms and heaven- inspired melodies which the trio visibly delighted in playing.
The Mendelssohn Trio, which followed, gave a chance for Cecilia to show off her bold technique on her cello while Olga had a chance to demonstrate her pianism in the beautiful melody which started the slow movement. Antonia the leader of the trio assured a tight ensemble at every point in performance.
The second half of the concert was one of extreme contrasts: the genteel world of Haydn contrasted violently with that of Shostakovich. In the Haydn trio particularly memorable was the gypsy style of the last movement, which they approached with great gusto leading to a splendid finale.
The pièce de résistance of this concert was clearly the trio by Shostakovich. Masterful control of their instruments was required to convey the bleak atmosphere of this work. This was evident at the outset when the themes were nothing less than fragile harmonics. I could not help but feel envious of the energy of these young people as they interpreted a difficult score with great sensitivity and almost brutal vigour. At times as we were taken to the heart of Shostakovich’s experience of the death of a close friend and colleague and indeed some of the harshest moments in history following the last World War.
Words practically failed me at the time to describe this concert I could only describe it as epic.
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