And then there were two…
Review: The Three Peters Piano Trio, St David’s Hall, 18th May 2010
This free lunchtime concert was originally to be the Three Peters piano trio performing Beethoven and Mendelsohn. Ufortunately, due to problems on the motorway, Peter Fisher, the violinist was held up. They hoped he’d make it in time to play the second trio but it was not to be.
Instead we were treated to an impromptu programme for cello and piano including Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, Saint-Saens’ The Swan, and the inevitable dip into Bach’s suites for solo cello.
Sone of the works are really very difficult, even when planned and rehearsed, but the two remaining Peters did a fantastic job performing them at short notice. The cellist Peter Adams even added some entertaining commentary in between.
The Kol Nidrei was full of exactly the passion one wants from this piece, and the same can be said for the performance of Faure’s Elegie. In between these two was The Swan, a piece generally familiar to cellists, especially as it often features in the programmes of school and youth orchestras. Peter Adams has obviously followed the same path: the notes were well-known and technically perfect but musically this left me wanting more, as it tended toward the mechanical in places.
The Bach was at times taken a little faster than felt comfortable, and consequently some of the scalic passages lacked clarity. Having said that, the very spritely gigue movement may be the best I have heard it, with every note crystal clear and a real excitement about the performance.
Following the Bach, Peter Hewitt performed a new solo piano Fantasia on themes from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, the music for which was emailed over and printed during the concert. The tunes were familiar to the audience who bobbed and smiled along and, as piano Peter noted before beginning, its vivacious speed made a change from ‘all those Elegies’ for the cello!
The concert ended with a fiendish Hungarian Dance by David Popper. Popper, as Peter Adams explained, is a name that puts fear into the hearts of cellists everywhere – a cellist himself, he wrote showpieces to perform, as well as a vast catalogue of studies. No fear was to be found here, however, as the two Peters took this at a rip-roaring pace, taking every opportunity to showcase their excellent technique and style.
Although unplanned, this was clearly a performance they enjoyed, and that carried over to the audience who were buzzing with praise and admiration as they left.