Selby & Friends
Review for the Melbourne Observer by Peter Murphy
A wonderful evening of chamber music was performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre when Selby & Friends gave their final Melbourne concert for this year, Final Statements.
Selby & Friends is the brainchild of Kathryn Selby, its artistic director and pianist, and is dedicated to promoting and performing world class chamber music to Australian classical music lovers.
The evening’s program consisted of three works: Aaron Copland’s Vitebsk: study on a Jewish these for violin, cello and piano; Anton Arensky’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op.32; and Franz Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, D.898. Op.99
Selby on piano was joined by two excellent younger musicians, Ike See on violin and Richard Narroway on cello. Each work was introduced by one of the performers who gave some context and background to each piece.
The Copland work, introduced by Selby herself, was composed early in Copland’s career with its theme coming from a play about demonic possession. Fittingly then, the piece was quite jarring, raw, discordant, giving a powerful sense of unease and distress.
Narroway then introduced the Arensky work, written as an elegy for the Russian cellist Davidoff. It was quite a contrast to the Copland work as the four movements were more romantic in nature, albeit not without their sorrowful moments.
Finally, after a short interval, See introduced the Schubert piano trio. A stronger contrast again, this was an uplifting delight, full of lilting melodies and playful rhythms.
Throughout all three works the audience was treated to world class performances by the three musicians All three pieces were challenging, yet Selby, See and Narroway met these challenges with great passion, finesses and esprit de corps.
The evening was then a magnificent way to see out the year for the inspiring Selby & Friends, at least as far as Melbourne goes, as the trio now continue their tour with concerts in Bowral, Turramurra and Sydney.