Monday, February 20, 2023


Friends of Chopin

All Saints Church, Ainslie 19 February


Reviewed by Len Power


As well as celebrating composer, Fryderyk Chopin’s, birthday, the Friends of Chopin were celebrating their return after three years of hibernation due to Covid.  Their program of works by Mozart and, of course, Chopin included a new work commissioned three years ago from pianist, Penelope Thwaites.  There were three high calibre performers, including Thwaites herself, Kirsten Williams, violin, and Patrick Suthers, cello.  It really was a celebration to the power of ”3”.

Kirsten Williams (piano), Penelope Thwaites (piano) and Patrick Suthers (cello)

 The concert began with Mozart’s Piano Trio No. 3 in B Flat.  Composed in 1786 it is performed on piano, violin and cello in three movements.  The first movement was notable for its brightness and the second was reflective with beautiful melodies.  The brightness returned with the third movement and finished dramatically.  The trio played it delightfully.

Penelope Thwaites then played Chopin’s Ballade No. 2 in F Major.  Composed in 1839, the quiet opening passages led into a dramatic section full of emotion and then subsided into a delicate and sensitive ending.  Thwaites played it superbly.

Elements of this ballade and music from the ballet “Les Sylphides” inspired Thwaites’ writing of the commissioned work “Mazurka: Au Tombeau de Chopin”.  Her skilful composing produced a highly satisfying work that started quietly with the cello and led into a dramatic passionate dance full of emotion.  It ended as quietly as it had begun.  This memorable work proved to be the highlight of the concert.

The final work presented was Chopin’s Piano Trio In G minor.  Published in 1829, it was the first time Chopin included a violin in his work.  It starts dramatically and has a beautiful third movement full of emotion leading to an ending full of brightness.  Played very well by the trio, it was the perfect end to a fine concert.


Photos by Peter Hislop

This review was first published by Canberra CityNews digital edition on 20 February.

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