Atos Trio reviewed in The West Australian
The Atos Trio continues to move eastwards today, arriving in Melbourne after a great concert in Adelaide last night. This weekend sees the trio perform at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday night and in Mornington on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile the first review of the tour is in, from The West Australian’s Rosalind Appleby:
“Sometimes a performance of just one piece can be so satisfying it would be plausible to end the concert there. That was the case with the opening work from the Berlin-based Atos Trio. From the shivering, ultra-soft string introduction to the crashing chords of the climax, the trio played Rachmaninov’s Piano Trio No. 1 with a perfect unity that belied the fact they have only been together for six years.
The winners of the 2007 Melbourne international chamber music competition played with ferocious attack but also a delicate easing in and out of phrases. The blend of violin (Annette von Hehn) and cello (Stefan Heinemeyer) was often imperceptible as they moved between grainy depth and golden lightness. The remainder of the program couldn’t cap the opening although Paul Stanhope’s Dolcissimo Uscignolo (Sweetest Nightingale) came close with its humour and originality.
As usual, the Australian composer referenced vocal music, in this case a madrigal from Monteverdi. The fragments of melody built to a lushly textured middle section where astute use of modern techniques – attractive string harmonics and the eerie sound of sul ponticello (playing near the bridge of the instrument) kept the ear intrigued. The work ended with a Takemitsu-like sparseness with notes falling like droplets from the high octaves of the piano.
Schumann’s Piano Trio No. 2 was a study in self-effacement as the trio made light work of the potentially dense textures and emphasised the influence of Bach in the canonic sections with a Baroque vibrato-less approach.
Violinist von Hehn’s over-aggressive bowing and occasional harmonic glitches wore thin in Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2. Thomas Hoppe moved into the foreground with a buoyant delivery of Mendelssohn’s virtuosic piano part. The scherzo from Mendelssohn’s first piano trio provided a rippling encore.”