Top of their game – Adelaide 2016

15th November, 2016 | Concert Reviews

Peter Burdon, The Advertiser
November 14, 2016 9:37pm

SELBY and Friends ended their final tour of their 10th anniversary year with an impressive recital for an equally impressive audience in Elder Hall. Daniel Dodds (violin) and Julian Smiles (cello) were Kathryn Selby’s friends on this occasion.

The concert began sparklingly with Schubert’s zesty Sonatensatz in B flat, a work of astonishing confidence given the composer was 15 and still at school. The trio gave it a suitably carefree performance, with Smiles in particular relishing the fine cello writing, anticipating one of the characteristics of Schubert’s later output.

Entirely different was Gerard Brophy’s Sheer Nylon Dances (2001), an effective if portentous work requiring a mildly prepared piano (“fetishised”, as the composer pretentiously allows the deed to be described). The tuneful clunks thus generated made for an interesting pianola-like quality.

Liszt’s piano trio version of Tristia from the Années de pèlerinage is a real rarity, and what a fine arrangement. Surprising interplays emerge, especially a wonderful conversation between violin and cello, yet without any apparent loss of the virtuosity of the solo original.

The largest work on the program was Brahms’ Piano Trio No.1 in B Major, another relatively youthful work but one that benefited from revision some 35 years later. By a fair measure the longest of the trios, there are rich rewards at every turn, from the bold opening movement (though not without gorgeous lyricism) and the catchy Scherzo, the intense, complex adagio and the bravura final allegro. It demands musicians at the top of their game. And so it was.

Selby & Friends

Elder Hall

November 13

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