classikOn review of ‘Final Statements’
Brilliant intonation and faultless timing from Selby, See and Narroway
Selby & Friends | Final Statements
November 5, 2023, Turramurra Uniting Church
It seems impossible but every recital that Kathryn Selby performs with her friends seems to mature like an old claret.
Here she was joined by musicians of impeccable pedigree.
Ike See began his studies in Singapore at the age of four no less in Singapore – he won the Singapore national violin competition three times and has performed as soloist at several festivals world-wide. He is now a permanent member of the ACO. Not following the usual trend, he plays a new Zygmuntowicz violin.
Richard Narroway trained as a cellist in the USA. He has been a sought after soloist but is best known for his recording of Bach’s six cello suites. He plays a modern cello made in France by Frank Ravatin.
Aaron Copland is best known for his nationalistic works such as Appalachian Spring. As Kathryn explained , the Vitebsk Trio is an early work based on a Russian play, “The Dibbuk” – a malicious spirit in Hebrew mythology . The first part is loud and dissonant with the piano playing semi-tonal chords against the strings playing in thirds. There follows a lighter tuneful episode before the “Dibbuk“ reasserts itself. Very powerful and engaging.
Arensky is one of many composers about whose life little is known. He studied with Rimsky-Korsakov and numbers among his students Scriabin and Rachmaninoff, though Tchaikovsky is thought to have been a major influence on his compositions. His Piano Trio in D minor has a catchy allegro and an engaging “Elegia”, and is a response to the early death of cellist Karl Davydov. I feel sure that Arensky must have visited France as I could detect influences of both Saint-Saëns and Fauré.
We needed an interval to prepare for the majestic and all-encompassing Trio in B major by Schubert. This work is very well-known and forms one of my “Desert Island Disks” There were however intriguing aspects of the work which I heard for the first time because of the brilliant intonation of the strings and faultless timing and volume of the piano. Both of Schubert’s trios have very long endings – but not long enough for me, as I never wanted it to end!