Much to applaud in trio’s debut

Zurich Piano Trip @ Snape Maltings.

Zurich Piano Trip @ Snape Maltings

By Frank Cliff

Spring Weekends seemed an inappropriate title for the opening concert of Aldeburgh's March Series. The bitter weather may have been a factor in a less than full house; either that, or the choice of an ensemble unfamiliar to English audiences, for the Zurich Piano Trio was appearing in this country for the first time.

They brought a programme of works by Mozart, Ravel and Brahms and there was much to applaud about their playing although the evening was not an unqualified success.


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Basically for much of the time the strings seemed unwilling to respond in kind to the ravishing sound of Christiane Frucht's piano. This was most noticeable in Mozart's E major trio K542, when playing of the utmost sensitivity was no substitute for the lack of a warm and vibrant sound.

Balance in the Ravel was better, but even in this immaculately prepared performance there were moments which seemed underplayed; one had for instance to strain one's ears to catch the harmonics at the end of the first movement.

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Only after the interval did their performance of Brahms' 1889 version of his early B major trio produce a much more committed and integrated sound and reveal their true potential.

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