REVIEW: Sitkovetsky Trio St George's, Bristol 8/10
THIS concert marks a new theme at St George's: Coffee Classics, so named because, included in the £12 ticket price, is a cup of coffee and a chance to chat with fellow concert-goers.
The young Sitkovetsky Trio, who are giving three performances in the venue, are already garlanded with awards and prizes and, judging by their Bristol showing, they are certainly players to watch.
The opening Allegro of Brahms Piano Trio No 2 in C showed off their rich, vivid sound, though at first they had not got the measure of the revealing St George's acoustic, and the cello dominated the texture. The andante had the right snapping Hungarian rhythms, the tricky scherzo tripped along, and the finale was full of confidence and triumph.
It's a wonderful work, full of broad flowing tunes that billow on and on, and when the players got the balance right – the beautiful piano by Wu Kian sometimes got swamped – the energy and colour was exciting, with the proper passionate sweep and glow that Brahms asked for.
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The other work was Smetana's Piano Trio in G Minor. In a style that later became recognised as distinctively Czech, with snappy rhythms and references to folk music, it suggests light-heartedness, when in fact Smetana wrote the work in memory of his two daughters, who died young. The bold, ethnic passages are a call for courage, and the gentle andante movement is full of grief, and memories of happier times. The players got the mix of sorrow and survival just right and won cheers for a profound and moving performance.
The other two concerts are on April 7 and 21.