Drake, Mitchell and Clein

MICHAEL DRAKE Holkham Hall

MICHAEL DRAKE

I selected the afternoon's Society for the Promotion of the Arts in North Norfolk chamber concert and found it to be one of advantages and disadvantages.

The standard was of the highest, prompting the society's mentor, Heinz Leibrecht, to suggest that we would be listening to “a chamber group to make history”.

That was probably not arguable after a mesmeric performance of Mendelssohn's Trio in D minor from Julius Drake (piano), Priya Mitchell (violin) and Natalie Clein (cello) – with a definite advantage at this stage, of allowing the listeners to observe just the one work to its full.

There was a dark intensity about the string players both physically and musically in the opening with the piano for the time being a calming influence as the trio moved on together in energetic flamboyance.

With the violin and cello in thirds, the Andante commenced in similar style but still with underlying singing tone, closing in discreet gentility.

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Then in front of a filigree of keyboard invention, the Scherzo danced along to the finale of passionately played themes.

In the end, had the whole been replayed it would still have been an aural joy but then came the unexpected bonus of a real encore in the last two movements of the early Beethoven Piano Trio in E flat major from the evening programme – I suspect as much for their love of playing as for an acknowledgement of the reception of what had gone before.

Again individual and collective musicianship was both seen and heard, allied to technical brilliance to bring to an end a striking afternoon.

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