The Busch Trio of Omri Epstein, Ori Epstein and Mathieu van Bellen returned for their second concert for us, and got our 2018/19 season off to a superb start on 18th October 2018.
The Haydn E major piano trio was new to many in the audience, and never ceased to surprise with its melodic turns, and the unusual slow movement with a long solo for the piano, in which the composer seems to have forgotten for several pages that there’s a violin and cello to write for as well…! The Ravel trio was a real tour de force of contrasting textures and moods, and in the Dumky trio by Dvorak, it was clear to us all how close an affinity the Busch Trio have with this music. In a deeply committed performance, the trio really brought the episodic nature of the piece together into a whole that we could understand.
Our second concert in our 2018/19 season on 21st February 2019 didn’t quite go as planned! Very sadly, our flautist Emma Halnan injured her hand shortly before the concert and was unable to play. We wish her a speedy and full recovery, and hope to welcome her back for a future concert.
We were very grateful to cellist Bartholomew LaFollette and pianist Daniel King Smith for revising the programme at very short notice for cello and piano only.
They played an excellent programme consisting of Beethoven’s cello sonata no 2 in G minor, the Poulenc cello sonata, and after the interval Brahms’s cello sonata no 1 in E minor. It was a hugely enjoyable evening, with superb and memorable playing.
The third concert in our 2018/19 series was held on Friday 5th April 2019. Eric Lu, winner of the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition, gave us a superb recital of contrasting works by Schumann, Schubert, Handel and Chopin. Commencing with Schumann’s rarely heard “Ghost” variations, Schumann’s last work composed in 1854 shortly before he was admitted to a mental hospital, Eric then gave us Schubert’s tumultuous A minor sonata D 784. After the interval, he played Handel’s Chaconne in G major, and finished with Chopin’s B flat minor “Funeral March” sonata. As an encore he played Brahms’s Romance in F major, Op 118 No 5. Our audience was completely mesmerised by the intensity, utter commitment, power and expressiveness of Eric’s playing throughout the evening. The range of tone colour he produced was astonishing, from the most hushed pianissimo (especially in the D flat major section of the funeral march), to thunderous fortissimo, though never with any harshness of sound. It was clear to everyone that this remarkable 21-year-old has a very special talent, and is surely destined to enjoy a top flight international career.