Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Keeping alive the exploration of chamber music

Festival of Chamber Music: Razumovsky Ensemble. Great Hall, QUB

The Razumovsky Ensemble was founded in 1998 as a flexible group of professionals intent on exploring the chamber music repertoire.

Schumann's Fantasiestucke Op.88 is a collection of four relatively short miniatures rather than a through composed entity and as such it provided a satisfactory curtain raiser for the piano trio. The third piece of the set, Duett, was perhaps the most memorable in this performance with its long soulful melodic lines shared effectively between violin and cello.

The music of early 20th century Britain has not yet been fully appreciated for its unique form of post-Romanticism. John Ireland was one of the stalwarts of British music at that time. They conveyed the rich textures and colourful tones with enough verve for the audience to hear why Ireland became an important figure in interwar music.

The most substantial work was Tchaikovsky's A minor Trio. It was a masterfully controlled performance but despite often beautiful string playing it lacked some of that uncontrollable surge that is the hallmark of Tchaikovsky's romanticism.

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