REVIEW: Vienna Piano Trio performance 'unforgettable'

Vienna Piano Trio presented by Chamber Music New Zealand. Regent on Broadway, Monday, September 19.

Chamber Music New Zealand concluded their programme for the year with one of the world's foremost piano trios, the Vienna Piano Trio featuring David McCarroll (violin), Matthias Gredler (cello) and Stefan Mendl on the piano.

Their chosen programme was an arresting showcase, Beethoven's masterpiece Op 70 No 2, paired with Schubert's sublime evocation of the power of music, his Piano Trio in Eb.

These works were programmed with a very recent work dedicated to the Vienna Piano Trio, Fur Balint Andras Varga – Ten Miniatures, by Johannes Maria Staud, a leading Austrian composer.

While the Beethoven Trio is rarely heard on the concert platform, this was indeed a performance that captured the core of the composer with an over-riding power of expression. The Schubert provides its own challenges as it is a much-loved work for chamber music audiences.

In the hands of the Vienna Trio however, this was an unforgettable experience that so beautifully demonstrated the power of live performance.

Unbelievable pianissimo stood alongside majestic examples of Schubert's complete command of the genre as the Vienna Trio explored the work with marvellous empathy, style and panache.

The miniatures of the twentieth-first century work demonstrated a continually unfolding array of contrasts maintaining attention with a sense of the unexpected, bringing together moments of exquisite beauty with moments of sheer power and majesty.

Both striking for the ear and fascinating for the eye this was a masterful performance of a contemporary work that found much favour with this audience.

2015 has shown Chamber Music New Zealand at its imaginative best, but the season was brought to a resounding conclusion with a return to the traditional, which, in its own way, commanded as much interest and praise as the bounteous feast offered throughout the year.

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