Nicholas Yonge Society

Chamber Music in Lewes

19th October 2018

Bloch Three Nocturnes
Beethoven Trio in G major Op 1 No 2
Dvořák Trio No 3 in F minor Op 65

Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch in performance 

We could not have asked for a better ensemble to initiate our 2018-2019 season than the Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch. They have worked together for some years now, and this showed in the quality of their playing.

The programme began with Three Nocturnes by Ernest Bloch, a composer best known for such pieces as Schelomo, but who is now beginning to gain the recognition his wide and varied output deserves. The Nocturnes cover a variety of moods, from sinister to lyrical to Sturm und Drang, each carried off with aplomb.

The Nocturnes served as a very appropriate curtain raiser to the Beethoven Trio Op 1, no.2, written only 4 years after the death of Mozart, but, while acknowledging that heritage, already moving on and developing the form. The music is deceptively simple, which requires considerable precision in playing to be heard to its best advantage; the Trio were more than equal to the task, and communicated all the music’s delicacy and changes of mood. The largo movement in particular, marked con espressione, certainly lived up to its name.

Finally, Dvořák’s 3rd Piano Trio Op 65, received a lively and committed performance, leading us confidently through the music’s overtly Brahmsian opening to the sunnier uplands which are more characteristic of Dvorak’s work. Passion, lyricism and great beauty were on show here, and the performance thoroughly deserved the enthusiastic response of the audience. This led to an encore: a quicksilver movement from one of Haydn’s trios, played with easy grace, fast pace, and unassuming virtuosity.

What struck me most in the Trio’s playing was the intense quality of their listening to each other, which meant that the melodic line could be easily followed from instrument to instrument, as the composers surely intended. They also manifestly love making music, and we in turn loved watching and hearing them do so!

Reviewer: Stephen Terry
Photographer: David James