Alchemy – Adelaide

9th May, 2018 | Concert Reviews

Rodney Smith, The Advertiser
May 9, 2018 12:29pm

PIANIST Kathryn Selby has called on colleagues Vesa-Matti Leppänen and Timo-Veikko Valve for her second concert tour of the season, comprising chamber music by Schumann, Arensky and Brahms.

This was their fifth concert of the tour and all three sounded very at home as they made their way through a thoroughly romantic group of works.

Valve’s playing is well known here as principal cello of the Australian Chamber

Orchestra and it must be said he tempered the high passion listeners are familiar with to ensure there was a telling balance with Leppänen whose violin playing, as concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, listeners may know less well.

His style was more reserved, though often intense and always focused on musical ends. Selby as usual proved the acme of clarity, accuracy and flair, gluing the trio together but never overwhelming it.

It must be said there was certain sameness about the bones of this program but the players were always on their toes finessing a phrase here, a harmony there, and underscoring contrasts where they could.

The enigmatic Theodor Kirchner provided additional fascination as Schumann’s charming Sechs Stüke in kanonischer Form and Brahms’ mighty Sextet in Bb major Op 18 were performed in his prodigiously accomplished arrangements for piano trio.

By comparison Arensky’s oh-so-civilised Trio No. 2 in F minor paled into comparative insignificance and listeners exited humming Brahms’ glorious themes of course.

Selby and Friends

Elder Hall

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