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Kungsbacka Piano Trio, Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen

Written by Alan Cooper, The Herald

reproduced with permission

article | The Herald

Kungsbacka Piano Trio, Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen
Star rating: *****

It was the turn of Aberdeen Chamber Music Club on Monday to join with the sound Festival in its promotion of contemporary music. The club commissioned a new piece from the young Scottish composer Helen Grime (born in Ellon, near Aberdeen) especially for the fabulous Kungsbacka Trio.

The Brook Sings Loud cites piobreachd as an influence, especially its idea of a theme with ever more complex variations. The birl of piobreachd ornamentation certainly coloured the piano writing along with the ghost of Messiaen. Helen Grime's piece was packed with startlingly colourful writing for her string players. Timbre was expanded to the utmost without ever transgressing the boundaries of the standard palette. Each of the instruments had its virtuoso cadenza delineating the different sections of the work. Ranging in mood from melancholy to fiercely hard driven, it was a compellingly venturesome journey inside the imagination.

Another master of imagination is Haydn. His Piano Trio in E flat Hob. XV 29 opened the performance, with dazzling playing from pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips. Then Frank Martin's Trio on Irish Melodies touched two sides of the Irish soul, tender melancholy song and vigorous dance. The Kungsbacka twinned it with a romantic performance of John Ireland's Phantasy Trio in a minor.

After Helen Grime's piece, a different brook could be heard babbling merrily on the piano through Schubert's Piano Trio in B flat op.99. The strings celebrated Schubert's soul of song in the second movement while in the Scherzo it was dance that took over, there and in the finale, where a sense of teasing fun recalled the smiling spirit of Haydn that opened the concert.

reproduced by kind permission of Alan Cooper and The Herald.

events mentioned
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3Mon 7.30 pmAberdeenKungsbacka Piano Trio