Concert 3. Wednesday 5 December 2012 8pm Print

FLORIN ENSEMBLE

string trio & oboe

 

PROGRAMME

Moeran        String Trio in G
Britten Phantasy Quartet (1932) for oboe & strings
Mozart Divertimento in E flat K 563

  

 

Florin, the ensemble with a string trio at its heart, performs a wide range of chamber music and for this performance they are joined by oboist Joseph Sanders. With strong chamber music backgrounds and diverse musical lives outside the group, Florin creates thought-provoking interpretations with a distinctive sense of common musicianship.

 

E J Moeran, a pupil of John Ireland, wrote his trio in 1931 almost at the same time that the youthful Britten was composing the striking and characteristic Phantasy, for which he later won the Cobbett prize.

 

The concert ends with a summit of the string trio repertoire, one of Mozart's late, great masterpieces, a massive work in six movements. The only composition he completed for this combination, Alfred Einstein called it "one of his noblest works."

 

  

   " ... this performance [of the Mozart] bears

    witness to the mastery of the three players"

    THE GRAMOPHONE

 

CONCERT REVIEW

 

Three's Company, Four is More at the King's Hall Ilkley

 

The Florin Ensemble began this splendid concert with E J Moeran's String Trio, a relatively extended work that requires quite a range of responses to bring out all its secrets. The Florins were fully up to the task, whether in the brooding slow movement or the robust dance-like music of the scherzo and finale. The lengthy first movement with its teasing seven-in-a-bar metre was engagingly projected, resonant pizzicati particularly memorable; the body language of the players demonstrating all the while how much they identified with this unjustly neglected score.

 

The Trio was then joined by oboist Joseph Sanders for Britten's Phantasy Quartet. This is a testing work for all the players and they came through with flying colours. Britten's typically piquant instrumental scoring was given full value, his very individual writing receiving an imaginative response from each player. In the central slow section Alistair Scahill's viola solo was powerful and expressive. The oboe sound was beguiling throughout and it left me wishing we could hear more from the instrument after the interval.

 

But that was not to be as Mozart's K563 String Trio Divertimento made for a more than generous second half. This masterpiece is a challenging one for the players, a real test of technical prowess. Textures are so clear, there is nowhere to hide, and at three quarters of an hour's duration it's a long haul for them; but as violinist Charles Mutter said in his excellent prefatory talk it's gloriously rewarding to play as their committed performance fully demonstrated.

 

Correctly they used less vibrato than they had for the music in the first half, yet there was no lack of expressiveness in the playing. Where Mozart asks for the music to be repeated piano they had fun reducing the sound to near inaudibility. In an earlier minuet movement cellist Cathertine Rimer's contribution was forthright and characterful as it had been throughout. A marvellous concert that sent us out into a very cold night with a warm glow.

 GK 

 

The following recordings were recommended in the programme.

 

Moeran
As part of their excellent series of British Chamber Music for Naxos, the Maggini String Quartet made a recording of Moeran's String Trio and String Quartets in E flat and a minor in 1995. The recording quality is very good and the performances first rate on Naxos 8.554079 (budget price).

 

Britten

Hyperion have an excellent recording of this work played by Sarah Francis (oboe) and members of the Delmé String Quartet on Helios CDH55154 (budget price). The disc is filled by other Britten works for oboe and piano and is very enjoyable.

 

Mozart

There are many fine recordings of this wonderful work, but my favourite is performed by the Grumiaux Trio on Decca 470 950-2 (3 CDs for the price of 1 full price). This is the best way of purchasing this recording as the set includes magnificent performances of the 6 Mozart String Quintets with an extra violin and viola added to the Grumiaux Trio. The recordings are analogue but still sound very well. Should you want a modern digital recording, the Trio Zimmermann is excellent on BIS BISSACD 1817 (full price SACD playable on all CD players). The fill-up is a short Schubert String Trio D.471.

 

Finally, tonight's artists have a very good medium priced recording, available via their web site www.florinensemble.co.uk. The disc is completed by Howard Skempton's "Winter Sunrise" for string trio.

 

Raymond Waud.

 

CLUB NOTES

 

CELEBRATION CONCERT  

What a heart-warming response! Within just one week of mailing the appeal for financial support for the David Pyett Celebration Concert in October 2013, we received donations from 273 Members (Season Ticket holders) from a total of 476. Donations are still coming in as I write.

 

This says an enormous amount about how well Members understand David's achievements, and how much affection they have for him. It also confirms our feelings about the impressive loyalty of Ilkley Concert Club Members. This very strong response confirms our view that this event will cement the feeling that ICC is not just a concert promoter but a Club of friends sharing a love of great music. Our hopes that a high proportion of Members would want make a contribution have been confirmed; the Celebration Concert will mean so much more as a result.

 

The Committee wants to thank all who have made a contribution so far. Whilst we are not yet home and dry, we are grateful that concerns that we had about raising the necessary money no longer keep us awake at night.

 

If you have not made a donation yet, but want to please send it to the Hon. Treasurer Mr R Ryan, 'Thornhill', Clifford Rd, Ilkley LS29 0AL, or bring it to the next concert to the Box Office or the Desk in the Winter Garden.

 

 

DID YOU BUY A RETURNED TICKET FOR THIS CONCERT?

Every year about 40-50 Members leave the club for various reasons and to keep a full house they have to be replaced. You might be surprised how many of the people in the Hall became Season Ticket holders (and thus Members of ICC) as a result of buying single tickets – I was one! So, we would like to stay in touch with you to make sure that you receive a brochure for the 2013-14 Season when it is posted next June. If you have not already done so, please make sure that we have your contact details: name, address with postcode, phone number and email address, if you have one. Give it to anyone at the Box Office or the Desk in the Winter Garden, or contact me, David Wharmby (Chairman), 01943 604178, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .