New players bring excitement to Selby’s party of piano chamber music

September 14, 2015 11:20am

Rodney Smith

The Advertiser

KATHRYN Selby continues to supply Adelaide with the broadest ranging professionally performed piano chamber music concerts to come our way. The beauty of changing personnel is the programming variety that can result and if occasional loose ends appear they’re more than compensated by the excitement new players can bring to the party.

Violinist Sophie Rowell is well known to Adelaide audiences through her time with our Australian String Quartet and yet on this occasion her playing seemed to have grown in tonal depth and musical nuance as she expertly led the ensemble in Schumann’s Piano Quintet in Eb Op 44 and Faure’s Piano Quartet in C minor Op 15.

Cellist Julian Smiles has been a regular in this series for many years and his uncanny ability to shape a phrase to perfection with tonal finesse to match balanced Rowell’s melodic felicities in a particularly satisfying way.

With violist Tobias Breider in synch all three adopted just the right degree of restrained fervency Faure requires in his Quartet for that oh-so-French sonic landscape listeners hope for. To her credit Selby proved equally deft and light fingered in this mannered but deeply felt work.

Schumann’s Quintet added violinist Anna Da Dilva Chen to the mix and Selby was able to launch into some powerful rhetoric without fear of dominating. In fact all five musicians entered into the high spirits of Schumann’s frenetic good humour with impressive control unanimity and mutual empathy.

Selby and Friends

Elder Hall

September 13

Concert Reviews