Concert 5 - Wednesday 15 February 2017 at 8pm Print



 Piano Trio in G major, K496    

    "The performance was delightfully fresh,

every phrase and often every note was alive."



Verklärte Nacht, Op.4

(arr. Steuermann)     

    "...power and passion with constant subtle

adjustments of balance keeping the textures clear..."  


Schubert Piano Trio in Bb major, D898  




The Vienna Piano Trio was formed in 1988. Delivering a combination of 'gravitas and panache' (The Strad), the trio debuted at Wigmore Hall in 1994. Two years later they returned and performed all Schubert's works for piano trio, then repeated the programme at the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein in Vienna. Particularly successful in repertory by composers closely associated with Austria - Brahms, Schubert, Haydn and Mozart – these players exhibit traditional Viennese sentiment with sensitivity to the nuances of folk tradition.

The programme begins and ends with the first trios of Mozart and Schubert respectively – a bare 40 years between them – the first elegant and charming and the second profound yet strangely carefree. As a contrast we will hear the trio version of Schoenberg's early sextet based on the poem Transfigured Night – one of the masterpieces of late romantic chromaticism – speaking of overwhelming love and forgiveness.


Concert Review


Perfect ensemble playing at the Ilkley Concert Club


From the very beginning of their recital at the Concert Club on 15th February you could tell that the Vienna Piano Trio is a group which plays together frequently. Ensemble is such a fragile quality that it can easily be disturbed but with these three musicians there was never any chance of that.


In Mozart's G major trio, K496, the piano of Stefan Mendl led the way as the music demands but his beautifully light crisp touch never threatened to dominate the texture. The opening Allegro drew delightful playing from all three players. The Andante starts simple and bright but develops a darker side, the thematic material coming back in ever more complex disguises, well brought out here. The final set of variations gave a satisfactory finish to a fine piece of Mozart playing.


Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht is more usually heard in the original string sextet version but the trio version, with the piano providing much of the accompanying matter, brings to the fore the characters of the two lovers from the poem which provided the composer's inspiration. David McCarroll (violin) and Matthias Gredler (cello) were here in their element, providing yearning melodies, luscious pianissimos and shimmering tremulos, gaining rapt attention from an audience, many of whom may have been surprised that Schoenberg could create such beauty!


A rousing performance followed of the Schubert B flat major trio, bright and joyous despite being finished in the year of his death. The first movement emphasised again the interplay of the parts and the players made much of the playful pauses which threaten prematurely to end the movement. The cellist began the second movement with a wonderfully calm account of the melody: the dancing in the third movement was lively and spirited and the fourth movement rounded off a splendid concert in a more vigorous Beethovenian style.



The following recordings were recommended in the concert programme



One of the finest recordings of this work to have come my way is by the Kungsbacka Piano Trio on Naxos 8.570518 (medium price). The couplings are the Piano Trio K.502 and the Divertimento K.254. The ever reliable Beaux Arts Trio provide all the Piano Trios and the Clarinet Trio on Decca 446 1542 (2 CDs at budget price).


The Boulanger Trio provide an excellent recording of the work, coupled with Brahms Piano Trio No.3 and Liszt Tristia, On Profil PH 11042 (medium price). For an alternative coupling of the Korngold Piano Trio No.1, the Fidelio Trio are well recorded on Naxos 8.572758 (medium price).


Those with an enthusiasm for "authentic instruments", and others, will enjoy the excellent new recording from Andras Staier (fortepiano), Daniel Sedec (violin), and Roel Dieltriens (cello), on Harmonia Mundi 902233-34 (2 CDs at budget price). Both Piano Trios are included with Nocturne D.897. Once again, the Beaux Arts Trio provide superb interpretations of both Trios, on modern instruments, on Philips 475 7571 (2 CDs at budget price).
Raymond Waud.


Club Notes for this Concert



Very many thanks for letting me know when you are not able to attend a concert - the demand is sometimes so enthusiastic that a waiting list is in operation, so the sooner I know you are not coming the better. I do appreciate not all circumstances allow for this. The Club benefits considerably from donations of the sale proceeds - many thanks for letting me know if they are to be donated at the time of advising me the seats are available.

In the event of a refund request please do collect this at the following concert. If the seat has been sold, the refund will be available from the counter in the Winter Gardens in the interval or at the end of the next concert.

Can't go? Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 01943 609045 between 10am and 7pm. When leaving a message please give details clearly, also do let me know if you would like to donate proceeds to the Club.

Jennie Rundle, Single ticket sales Organiser.



Most of ICC concerts are very good, but I expect many have a memories of concerts that were special. For me, one was Angela Hewitt in 2002 playing Bach's 'Goldberg Variations'. Judging by the responses we have had, Alessandro Taverna's concert will be amongst many people's favourites. One such, from Rosemary Hoyle was 'As a concert club subscriber of many years who always appreciates & enjoys the varied programmes, I just to say a really big 'thank you' for the quite exceptional performance last Wednesday. I was aware that I was experiencing something very special, really exhilarating and original. It's something I shall remember for a long time.'


That made me think about what makes a concert special. Several factors are: choice of programme and quality of the music, both familiar and unfamiliar; the quality and charisma of the artists; how well the artists are treated—so they can concentrate on the music; the quality of the piano; the beautiful King's Hall; the huge and knowledgeable audience, etc. For this concert, I think all the above were just about as good as it gets.


Alessandro spoke to me enthusiastically about the beautiful hall with its excellent acoustics; the quality of the piano; the huge size of the audience; the reception they gave him - particularly noting your intense concentration. It is abundantly clear that artist, audience and venue play a large part. The Concert Season Planners Sarah Warnes, Josephine Wesley and David Pyett make great efforts in selecting artists and programmes. The Club committee, volunteers and King's Hall staff make a large contribution to the peace of mind and comfort of the artists. Suggestions are always welcome.

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