A Truly World Class Concert

10th March, 2017 | Concert Reviews


A concert given by Selby & Friends at the Deakin Edge Theatre, Federation Square on 9 March 2017.

Review by Sylvester Kroyherr

ARTISTS:  Grace Clifford (violin) – Sweet, intensely dynamic and sensitive performance.
Clancy Newman (cello) – Richly smooth, beautiful and full of flavour. (occasionally, playing by heart).
Kathryn Selby (piano) – Passionate, engaging, exacting and simply brilliant.

The first offering was Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat major Op. 1 No.1. The youthful and dynamic energy of the 22 year old composer was evident from the start with good colour and ‘light and shade’ provided by the trio. The piano led the gentle second movement with a delightful interplay of rich but precise playing, followed by the bouncy and cheerful third movement. Awaiting us was the powerful and fast third movement that displayed the trios’ great skill and versatility – with some furious piano runs and gutsy ending.

Our next piece was Saint-Saens’ Piano Trio No. 1 in F major, Op.18, composed when he was 28. A preamble by Grace set the youthful mood. Delivery by the trio was firm and powerful, showing exceptional interplay, leading us to a sensitively handled second movement that displayed a sublime mood. Excitement mounted in the third movement with some quite complex pizzicato passages and some incredible dueling between the instruments bouncing off each other. The audience lapped up the last movement that displayed a bright and breezy feel mixed with a great deal of complexity. Saint-Saens would have given that a standing ovation.

Following the interval, the trio regrouped and after a preamble by Clancy that highlighted the composer’s connection with ordinary people, Dvorak’s Piano Trio No.4 in E minor, “Dumky”, Op.90 took the stage. With a dramatic start and melancholy contrasts, the ‘folkie’ feel of the piece was established with dignity and power. In the second movement, the cello’s rich beauty excelled through somber overtones. The slow and dreamy third movement displayed great sensitivity and beautiful interplay, while the short next segment showed the trio’s exactness and strong musical sense. Moving to the fifth movement, the dance type themes continued, showing off the trio’s expressive qualities and drama. In conclusion, the last movement sported a great deal of interest and intensity with a spectacular finale.

Sylvester Kroyherr  (Musician/Architect)

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