Selby & Friends
Llewellyn Hall October 26
Reviewed by Len Power
In their final concert of the year, “Selby & Friends” revealed the inspirations of three composers whose music pays tribute or legacy to other remarkable artistic figures.
The players had a formidable list of credits between them. Natsuko Yoshimoto, violin, has won many prizes in international competitions and has appeared with many world-renowned orchestras. Richard Narroway, cello, enjoys an international career as a sought-after performer, recording artist and teacher. Kathryn Selby, piano, is the Artistic Director of “Selby & Friends” and has won prizes in numerous competitions and performed nationally and internationally.
Maurice Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin”, with an arrangement for piano trio by Matt van Brink, is a memorial work thought to evoke the spirit of composer, François Couperin. Each movement is dedicated to the memory of a friend of the composer (or in one case, two brothers) who had died fighting in World War I. The last movement is dedicated to the husband of Marguerite Long who first played it in 1919. The highlight of this work was the third movement whose beautiful melody was played with particularly great feeling.
Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor followed. Mendelssohn was a great admirer of the music of J.S.Bach. In four movements, it was the short, eerie third movement that clearly evoked the fairy world and led into the finale, which was grand and uplifting and the highlight of the work.
Composed in 1847, Robert Schumann’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor is in three movements. Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann’s wife, a composer herself, declared it her favourite. It was lush and romantic and the performers gave it a superb performance. The highlight of the work was the third movement, a poignant, lonely lament that was especially well- played.
The musicians each spoke at length about the works, adding another dimension to the concert. It is one of the things that distinguishes a “Selby & Friends” concert and makes it even more approachable and enjoyable.
This review was first published in the Canberra CityNews digital edition of October 27.
Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at https://justpowerwriting.blogspot.com/.