Review: Northern Chords, Octagon Chapel, Norwich

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2015 Ns at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY.

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2015 Ns at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

For the second of its recitals devoted to Felix Mendelssohn's chamber works Northern Chords called on the services of only three of its members, the pianist Martin Klett, the violinist Jonian-Ilias Kadesha and the cellist Jonathan Bloxham.

Coming for once to the fore, he was the soloist in the German composer's First Cello Sonata, with a fine opportunity to make a good impression from the opening. The Second Movement was very pleasing too, with an elegant repetitive pattern that invited reflections on the meaning of the music.

Bloxham did not need to strain here to command his due share of attention. At times, though, the piano - quite a small Bechstein with the lid fully open - could seem just that much too assertive in the intimate setting of the Octagon Chapel.

The same might be said of the performance of Mendelssohn's two Piano Trios. Their first movements had great energy, and the Scherzos crackled with high spirits. But a little more restraint, and not only in the Andantes, would have been welcome, and it might have helped increase the impact of the concluding climaxes.

Christopher Smith

The performance was part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival's Mendelssohn Project.

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