Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Fiery and upbeat curtain-raiser for a classical feast

Barry Douglas led a mesmerising, evocative performance
Barry Douglas led a mesmerising, evocative performance

Did Mozart actually write his 'Kegelstatt' Trio while playing skittles with friends?

The title suggests it, though it was added later by a publisher, probably as a marketing gimmick.

There were certainly no skittles in evidence yesterday evening, when the work was chosen by Belfast pianist Barry Douglas to open this year's eleventh Clandeboye Festival, of which the Belfast Telegraph is the designated media partner.

Douglas himself took the piano part in the Kegelstatt, and was joined by French clarinettist Michel Lethiec and American violist Paul Neubauer, a former principal in the New York Philharmonic.

Together they fashioned a distinctly lively, upbeat account of a piece too often played a little sedately.

The opening Andante lilted jauntily, while the Rondo finale was joyfully garrulous, rounding off an infectiously playful and positive interpretation.

Douglas stayed in the driving seat for the performance of Brahms's Horn Trio which followed, with ex-Philharmonia principal Richard Watkins and the Canadian violinist Erika Raum.

The three gave a wonderfully fiery traversal of the work's Scherzo and Finale, Watkins impressing with his nimble passage-work and his ripe, rounded tonal production.

Douglas is a born Brahmsian, and his deep affinity for the composer echoed through the thrumming chords with which he anchored the grave and sober contemplations of the third movement Adagio mesto.

Neubauer and Raum returned after the interval, with Clandeboye stalwart Andrés Díaz on cello combining with them in a rare public rendition of Dmitry Sitkovetsky's arrangement for string trio of Bach's great keyboard piece The Goldberg Variations.

The profound Variation 25, the furious swapping of licks in Variation 26, the noble eloquence of the Quodlibet, and the moving reprisal of the opening Aria – all were stand-out moments in what was a richly instructive and entertaining performance.

TERRY BLAIN

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Virgo:

Spending time on your own will be rewarding. You're an extremely conscientious person who is hyperaware of your surroundings. Sometimes this sensitivity can inhibit you from doing what you really want. You're afraid of offending people with your bold ideas. Instead of repressing your instincts, obey them. If you've developed a romantic interest in someone special, make your move. Playing the aggressor will boost your confidence. Keep your conversations light and playful.More