Trio Kurtag, three young women, played four string trios, all written by men in their 20s, at the Riverhead Studio, Louth, on Tuesday (June 13). But before the music started the audience were given a five-minute innovative and helpful Question and Answer session with the musicians: Juliette Roos (violin), Yume Fujise (viola) and Eliza Millett (cello).
Beethoven’s grand but not haughty Opus 9 No. 3 from 1797/8 was performed by three very safe pairs of hands with much nuance over its twenty-four minutes in the composer’s favourite ‘dark’ key of C minor. Dark perhaps, but certainly not black. In fact, Beethoven manages a wry smile in the finale and even a joke as a coda.
Alongside this stalwart of the repertoire were three lesser-known works from the first half of the twentieth century: namely (in order of performance) by Gideon Klein (1944), Ernst von Dohnanyi (1902) and Jean Françaix (1933). Indeed, the trio brought out every inflection, folk dance idiom and translucent melody and harmony in these three pieces.
A special highlight of the concert, organised by the Louth and District Concert Society, was the trio by Gideon Klein, a composer not yet listed in the Hutchinson/BBC Music Magazine Encyclopedia but well worth exploring. His life was cut short in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945 having just turned twenty-six. Entering into his scintillating soundscapes somewhat in the shadow of Bartok, we realise instantly what brilliance he demonstrated in his composition and glimpses of what more might have been said. Perhaps the only disappointment of the evening was that we were denied an encore, no doubt due to time constraints with the Trio’s direct return to London that evening. Well done LDCS: a very enjoyable, memorable concert.