Selby and Friends deliver a cracker concert to warm winter afternoon at Elder Hall
Peter Burdon, The Advertiser, July 18, 2017 12:37pm
IT’S a commonplace that Selby and Friends always deliver the goods at a high standard, but even by that measure, the Proud Folk concert in their third tour of the year was a cracker.
They brought considerable warmth, and not a little light, to an absolutely miserable winter afternoon.
The program was beautifully constructed, Elena Kats-Chernin’s The Spirit and the Maiden, Dvorák’s Piano Trio No 1 in B flat, and Ravel’s sublime Piano Trio in A minor.
The Kats-Chernin, reasonably well-known by trio standards, and deservingly popular, is a terrific opener, very programmatic in its depiction of love and loss.
Filled with atmosphere and not a few catchy rhythms, pianist Kathryn Selby has known the piece from its earliest stages, and that familiarity, combined with the brilliance of friends Julian Smiles (cello) and Natalie Chee (violin) made this a real pleasure.
The first Dvorák trio stands very much in the shadow of the later works, culminating in the great “Dumky”, but it’s worth remembering that by the time of its publication (1872) he was already a thoroughly experienced chamber composer, completely comfortable across the genre, filling the music with the songs of his Czech homeland.
The melodies that dominate the piece are a treasure in themselves, and were exquisitely described.
The justly famous Ravel trio received a simply magical performance, cheered on (at one pianissimo moment) by a songbird of the feathered variety that had made Elder Hall its home for the day.
Selby and Friends