Trio Dali in the West Australian
Young guns’ taste mixes east and west
William Yeoman, The West Australian
May 9, 2012
The youthful members of Trio Dali – French pianist Amandine Savary, Latvian violinist Vineta Sareika and French cellist Christian-Pierre la Marca – met in Spain, named themselves after a Chinese marble which when carved exhibits both strength and beauty, based themselves in France and are now coming to Australia for the first time.
The program for this, their inaugural Musica Viva tour, is similarly multinational, featuring the music of French composer Maurice Ravel (the Piano Trio in A minor), German composer Franz Schubert (the Piano Trio no. 2 in E-flat) and Australian composer Gordon Kerry’s second piano trio, Im Winde.
Kerry is this year’s Musica Viva featured composer and it’s his work which links those of the other two composers on the program. How?
Firstly, the title refers to one of Schubert’s songs, Der Schiffer (The Boatman), the first line of which reads “Im Winde, im Sturme befahr’ ich den Fluss” (“In wind, in storm, I traverse the river”). Secondly, Kerry is a self-confessed Francophile and his music is saturated with Ravel’s colours and textures.
Vineta Sareika says that while the Schubert and Ravel are old friends, the Kerry is a new discovery for Trio Dali.
“The Schubert and Ravel works are absolutely great repertoire for a piano trio,” the multi-award-winning soloist, concertmaster and chamber musician says on the line from Latvia. “Even though we have played them 100 times, we keep discovering different colours and nuances; ideas keep coming; it’s a kind of endless music which is to do with the genius of these two composers.
“Gordon’s piece is the first Australian music we’ve ever played. It’s very programmatic, full of pictures, and I would say is more like Ravel in atmosphere than Schubert.”
Sareika, who began learning violin from the age of five after her singing teacher told her mother she “had a musical ear and should do something more serious than just Latvian traditional songs”, says playing in a trio is thoroughly diplomatic. “We might have three different views in rehearsal but we put them all together for performance. And we try never to fight.”
For Sareika, the process of playing chamber music provides the template for every other musical situation.
“When I started to play in the orchestra as concertmaster I discovered I was taking ideas from the working process of the trio. You listen hard to each other, no matter how many players there are.”
And when she’s standing in front of an orchestra as soloist?
“It’s no different – I listen to everybody and just try to play my best and interpret what the composer might have meant.”