RECITALS can go either way.
They can be fey and limp wristed, all arched eyebrows, lowered lids, fluttering lashes and earnest expressions showing perceived dedication and commitment to the One True Art. Etcetera.
Or, as in this case, muscular, sweaty and shaking with fury, with thundering chords, shuddering vibrato and a texture so varied it seemed that there were more on stage than the three on view.
I swear I heard drums.
The three musicians, Matthew Trusler (violin) Guy Johnston (cello) and Ashley Wass (piano) were perfectly attuned to each other and soared.
They swooped through the programme like men possessed, the beauty and intensity of the music transfixing as they relayed the story of chamber music across the centuries with their elegant choice of programme from Beethoven, Shostakovich and Brahms.
In 1795 Beethoven’s Trio in E flat major was presented at the court of Prince Lichnowski where, his then teacher, Haydn is said to have exclaimed: ‘You give me the impression of a man with more than one head, more than one heart and more than one soul!’
Had Haydn been present on Friday he would have nodded sagely knowing he was right.
This interpretation by the three young men was perfectly synchronised, pulling together three heads, six arms and twenty fingers into perfect unity. Glorious.
Shostakovich’s gorgeously romantic C Minor Opus 8 (formerly known as Poème) was created while he was a student in 1923.
The themes, from the opening yearning motif, reminded me of a garden.
I heard bees buzzing, water trickling during a warm summers day with a sudden storm bringing heavy rainfall and thunder. Or maybe I’m just obsessed by the weather.
It was deliciously executed and I wish it was still known as Poème rather than a catalogue number.
The final piece, Brahms Piano Trio No.1 in B major Opus 8 (see what I mean?), has a motif in its fourth movement sounding a lot like the Star Spangled Banner, maybe in recognition that it was given its world premiere in the United States in 1855 on Broadway.
A stately piano opens as the cello and violin have an almost orchestral quality before making way for the second theme by the strings.
The second movement is mysterious and dramatic, a trio in harmony between piano and strings, and becomes more intense and animated in expression, contrasting with the finale begun by the solemn cello above the restless piano. But it is the unsettled B minor main theme rather than the more hopeful second that draws the work to its agitated close.
This recital was the final item in the International Mananan Festival and a worthy finale to a dazzling week of music.
These young men are already renowned soloists in their own right with glittering international reputations and their decision to work together will make a lot of people very happy.
To see one talent is a treat, to see three combine so blissfully is an extravagance that we should cherish and protect. Haydn was right.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west