Friday, 13 July 2007

Gig-a-Blog™ (Trio LaVolta, St Anne and St Agnes)

What a nice gig. The Trio LaVolta is Joyce Fraser (violin), Felix Buser (cello) and Sally Mays (piano) and they did a fine job on this interesting, and blessedly short, programme. I don't mean that in the least nastily: it's merely that lunchtime concerts by their nature do need to finish on time, and it's a great help and a great anxiety-reliever when they do. People who overrun on a lunchtime concert need custard pouring down their trousers, with extreme prejudice.

We started with Bridge's Three Miniatures. Very nice, clever, light but not lightweight: beautifully performed by this rather good trio.

The second and last work was the Trio for violin, cello and piano written in 1921 by Rebecca Clarke possibly (it says here) as a Great War response.

This is a fantastic piece! Here are my ramblings:

  1. Moderato ma appassionato. Dramatically emotional long lines. Staccato aggressive rhythms (war?) Bugle calls. Hymn tunes or chant?
  2. Andante, molto semplice. Unsettling floaty melody. I keep thinking it's settling somewhere then it floats off again, possibly due to er, er, augmentedness. Or something. It's never quite OK but we do get to a broader, grander and more open passage, with just enough oddness retained to prevent it from reaching peaceful repose till the very last chord.
  3. Allegro vigoroso. This starts with quite a furious tune which settles into an almost RVW-like statement of something very English-sounding. Gets broader and gentler before it all kicks off again with the very busy section. More bugles. Through to coda-like bit, very quiet and contemplative. Sudden loud vigorous symphonic ending.

I really liked this work. The programme says it's her magnum opus in a body of work consisting mostly of chamber music and song. I'd certainly like to hear more. Just for the record, Clarke lived from 1886 to 1979 and was a star viola player. So there.

Statement Of Conformance: I hereby certify that this Lunchtime Gig-a-Blog™ conforms with the New Model Operating Procedure having been written only during the concert itself and/or the train ride home. (signed: Vogel von Neustadt, Lunchtime Gig-a-Bloggist™). Yeah Babay!

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