Danish Star Trio Premiered Danish Triple Concerto
“Danish Star Trio Premiered Danish Triple Concerto
THERE ARE ORDINARY THURSDAY EVENING CONCERTS. AND THEN THERE ARE CONCERTS LIKE YESTERDAY …”Then there are the special concerts and this week we experienced one of them. With a conductor the audience loves and a programme which offered not only some of the 19th century’s great classics and which were beautifully bound together. And which even included a wonderful premiere.” “Has Danish composer Bent Sørensen listened to the dismal sounds from the music in “Taxi Driver”? Or is it because the composer has just moved from the countryside into the city of Copenhagen, that the orchestra delivered a dystopian city background, while his romantic ghostly music materialised between the three soloists? That one cannot know. But the echos and descending glissandi, which are characteristic of Sørensen, lives in his new triple concerto like an island of beauty in the middle of a giddy, grating world, which the music of beauty and stillness dreamingly seems detached from. The orchestra musicians let clubs sound against wooden blocks, whilst Trio con Brio played their important part of the concerto with brilliant energy. They have toured with Sørensen’s trio Phatasmagoria, which they premiered in 2007, and they played the last movement as an encore. Because the hall just kept on applauding. Parts of the fuga in ‘L’isola della cittá’ reminded one, that it is Beethoven who has introduced the challenging combination of violin, cello, piano and orchestra with his triple concerto. But Bent Sørensen makes the combination work better. In fact flawless. At least in this performance. It made new contemporary music an experience for everybody who has a longing for beauty within. A longing which opens for contact with spirits of the past. A very, very fine evening. Thomas Michelsen”
Tchaikovsky, Smetena: Piano Trios CD review – sparkling and heartfelt
Trio con Brio Copenhagen
Grief and anguish unite these lyrically expressive trios. Tchaikovsky subtitled his “In memory of a great artist”, his friend and mentor Nikolai Rubinstein, while poor Smetana wrote his after the death from scarlet fever of his four-year-old daughter Bedřiška. But that’s where their similarity ends. Tchaikovsky’s trio is monumental, unique in the repertoire; Trio con Brio Copenhagen scale its heights with the verve their name suggests, pianist Jens Elvekjaer sparkling in the brilliant set of 11 variations central to the piece. In contrast, the Smetana is brief but deeply heartfelt, the beauty of its bleak majesty perfectly captured by the Danish players. Recommended.
Enthusiastic applause for probably the most interesting piano trio of our time — Trio con Brio Copenhagen
In Joseph Haydn’s ‘Gypsy’ Trio every motif, every phrase, every figure, was accomplished with fingering that reflected perfection of technique and sensitivity to content. Pianist Jens Elvekjaer had such control over the concert grand piano that he never overwhelmed the strings, which for their part exhibited supreme delicacy and perfectly calibrated vibrato, blending with the piano into a crystalline and nuanced sonic scenario. Their performance brought to light even the smallest details of the music, and one forgot even to breathe as a new masterpiece seemed to be created from simple and familiar melodies.
In complete contrast to Haydn’s entertaining music was Bedrich Smetana’s Piano Trio in G minor, op.15, written after the death of Smetana’s four-year old daughter. It was here that the stylistic versatility of the Copenhageners became obvious. The players performed with probing seriousness and relentless precision, and were particularly harrowing as well in the soft, lyrical passages that are thought to be a remembrance of the dead. This was truly an interpretation of the highest artistic order.
In Franz Schubert’s late B-flat major trio, the brilliant soundscape that emerged allowed ample space for the expression of telling details in the broad and dynamic flow of the Allegro moderato. The second theme was a case in point, being performed not in the usual sing-song manner but instead with meaningful shape and spiritual urgency. The Andante was begun by Elvekjaer, whose rare gift for sound gave rise to magical chords that opened the door to a world of spiritual mystery and incredible beauty. One longed to become utterly immersed in the rapture of this movement—can it ever have been performed so well before?
The encore as well, the third movement of Dvorak’s ‘Dumky’ Trio, was radiant in its celestial purity—this was angelic music. Or to put it less romantically: all systems were go; ready for lift-off. An enthusiastic ovation for what is probably the most interesting piano trio of our time.”