Concert Review

Sublime Rosamunde Trio

Lion Ballroom, Leominster
28 October 2011

An Espressivo promotion

Art may be 'emotion recollected in tranquillity' but rarely emerges as a reworking by the artist 35 years later. Such is Brahms's Piano Trio Opus 8, or Opus 108, as he seriously joked to Simrock, his reluctant publisher. In their concert in Leominster's Lion Ballroom on October 28, the Rosamunde Trio, technically perfect, big-toned yet sensitive, conveyed exactly the nostalgia of the great composer reliving in maturity the burning emotions of youth aided by his now-burnished creative techniques.

Formed in 2002, this trio of distinguished international soloists now rivals distinguished forebears such as the Beaux Arts and the Florestan. Warm and full string tone was enhanced by perfect intonation and accurately balanced double-stops between Ben Sayevich (violin) and Daniel Veis (cello), offset by silvery passage work and sonorous chording of Martino Tirimo (piano). But this performance was more than the sum of these parts since the Trio's thoughtful and unanimous phrasing well served the music, not least the Smetana Trio Opus 15, written in memory of the recent death of his young daughter. Here lesser artists may descend into maudlin breast-beating which the Rosamunde avoided, tempering violent emotion with a strong and coherent musical argument leading from deprivation through resignation to apotheosis.

Having opened with Beethoven's Fourteen Variations Op 44, one looks forward eagerly to the Trio's cycle of all the Beethoven Piano Trios at London's Kings Place, booked for 2013. A large and appreciative audience all but filled the refurbished Lion Ballroom. Let us hope that the concert promoter, Espressivo, will persuade these fine artists to play for us again soon.

Derek Smith

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