Nicholas Yonge Society

  International Chamber Music in Lewes

24th October 2014

Beethoven Piano Trio no. 3, Op. 1 No. 3 in C minor
Kodály Duo for violin and cello, Op.7
Dvořák Piano Quartet no. 2, Op. 87 in E flat

London Bridge Ensemble in performance 

Opening nights don't get much better than this.  The first concert of the Nicholas Yonge's 2014-15 season was given by the three core members of London Bridge Ensemble together with Gary Pomeroy, the viola in the wonderful Heath Quartet.  The opening bars of the Beethoven Trio showed their mettle: an attention-grabbing pianissimo exquisitely played.  Although violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen has only recently joined the group, they were as one.  Ever faithful to what Beethoven wrote, their playing was a revelation, rejoicing in the dialogue between the instruments, spinning the wit of the ambitious young composer and still surprising us with his revolutionary dynamics.  Waley-Cohen led with confidence and authority and Daniel Tong's piano was a delight, wittily making light of the technical demands and matching the magic of the strings' quiet playing.

Kodály's spectacular Duo for violin and cello showed the full range of both players' abilities.  The tension of their first joint public performance of the piece unleashed spectacular playing, again the magic pianissimos, but also the wildness of Hungarian folk music, and the joy of two masterly players feeding off each other's playing. 

The second half's Dvořák piano quartet was cathartic after the intensity of the first half.  The group have very recently recorded the piece and their pleasure in it was obvious.  Kate Gould's playing in the slow movement melted the heart, they navigated Dvořák's ridiculously distant keys with laughable ease and had not the audience been from Lewes they would have risen to their feet at the end.  A memorable evening.

Reviewer: Chris Darwin
Photographer: David James