Well Integrated Playing from Benedetti, Elschenbroich and Grynyuk

09/09/2015

bbc proms logo

  Proms Chamber Music 8 – Brahms, Arlene Sierra: Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio [Nicola Benedetti (violin), Leonard Elschenbroich (cello), Alexei Grynyuk (piano)], Cadogan Hall, London, 7.9.2015. (JPr)

Brahms, Piano Trio No.1 in B major, Op.8

Arlene Sierra, Butterflies Remember a Mountain

A very pleasant chamber music Prom (the last of eight) brought the 2015 season to an end. It featured the Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio who really should try for a less tongue-twisting name – at least for those without the practiced skills of Petroc Trelawny who introduced the concert for those in the Cadogan Hall or listening on radio. There was nothing showy or limelight-seeking from star violinist Nicola Benedetti who seemed content as one of an accomplished trio and indeed her playing was somewhat overshadowed by Leonard Elschenbroich’s eloquent cello which, when it ‘spoke’, demanded attention.

Petroc Trelawny reminded us how Brahms had first written his Piano Trio No.1 as a 20-year-old and revised it 35 years later telling friends ‘I had already sent the piece to the grave and had no intention to play it any more’ and ‘Do you still remember the B major Trio from our early days? Wouldn’t it be curious to hear it now as I have – instead of placing a wig on it – taken the hair and combed and ordered it a bit.’ In fact the revisions were quite extensive and it seems to have gained a stately, contemplative air. Elschenbroich’s cello shone in the opening Allegro leading to a more playful and jollier Scherzo when all three musicians get a chance to shine, but Benedetti’s virtuosity came to the fore especially. The Adagio is melancholic and introspective and the trio ratcheted up the intensity so that everything could be wrapped up by the Finale, the climax of which was evidence – if evidence was needed – of the brilliant musicianship of Benedetti, Elschenbroich, not forgetting Alexei Grynyuk’s plangent piano.

The second work on the programme was an interesting – if minor – new work (2013) by Arlene Sierra who confessed to be interested in ‘natural themes … scientific processes … and how they can be part of the structure of the piece.’  Her insights into the compositional process was interesting and I suspect like many others she uses ‘very small building blocks of original material and sometimes a couple of found objects from others.’ In her case she included allusions to Ravel in her ‘found objects’. The short work is based on the annual migration of the Monarch butterflies across North America and how they apparently circumvent a mountain that was there in the dawn of history but is actually no longer in their way. The three movements reflect this; the skittering Butterflies brings images of the insects themselves, Remember ‘does what is says on the tin’ and is elegiac and clearly redolent of remembrance and A Mountain has all the majesty of an imposing vista. Here the Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio were not in the more abstract, romantic, soundworld of Brahms but they told a story that was ephemeral, wistful and emotional by turns. They did this so well that they gave Butterflies Remember a Mountain a profundity that belied its 11 minute length.

The Trio returned to Brahms for their encore – announced, I believe, as the Andante from Brahms’s ‘Third Suite’ when I suspect Benedetti meant Third Piano Trio – and this was given a suitably plaintive reading by these excellently integrated trio of musicians.

Jim Pritchard

 

BBC Radio 3 will repeat this concert on 13 September and it is well worth hearing. It is available for 30 days after broadcast via the BBC Proms website www.bbc.co.uk/proms.

Margarida Mota-Bull interviewed Leonard Elschenbroich for Seen and Heard in March 2015.  

 

Print Friendly

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

MW

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! 2018-2019 Geneva Grand Theâtre Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Hallé Season in Manchester __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 BBC NOW in Cardiff and Swansea __________________________________
  • NEW! The Twelfth English Music Festival Coming Soon in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Kenneth MacMillan’s The Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum in June __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Opera in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2018/19 Birmingham Classical Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe Star in The King and I at the London Palladium __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2018 BBC Proms __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with Nicolò Isouard’s Cinderella __________________________________
  • NEW! Pop-Up Opera’s 2018 Mozart Double Bill __________________________________
  • NEW! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Let’s Dance International Frontiers (LDIF) 2018 Celebrates its Eighth Year __________________________________
  • NEW! Gloucester Choral Society’s Hubert Parry’s Centenary Celebrations in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Chess at the London Coliseum from 26 April for 5 Weeks __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! Abandoned Liszt Opera Sardanapalo Premieres in Weimar in August __________________________________
  • NEW! THE TENOR RUSSELL THOMAS IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • NEW! RAFAL BLECHACZ IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! The London Orchestra Project’s Metamorphosen on 27 May at LSO St Luke’s __________________________________
  • NEW! MARKUS POSCHNER IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! Chelsea Opera Group Perform Massenet’s Thaïs at the Cadogan Hall on 23 June __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Carly Paoli Sings for Chelsea Pensioners, at Cadogan Hall, and Signs for Sony/ATV __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH ITALIAN BARITONE FRANCO VASSALLO __________________________________
  • NEW! A First Charity Classical Music Concert at Finchcocks on 27 May __________________________________
  • NEW! MICHAEL SANDERLING IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! Trinity Laban Moves to Abolish All-Male Composer Concerts __________________________________
  • NEW! ARABELLA STEINBACHER IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! THE CONDUCTOR LAURENCE EQUILBEY IN CONVERSATION WITH COLIN CLARKE __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month