11 May 2022

Aussie, French, Czech

Someone couldn't use a ticket so I got to a Selby concert.  It was Selby on piano with her selection for this concert, a piano quartet, violin, viola, cello.  And it was a quite a worthy set of players and instruments, not least SSO and Brodsky Quartet amongst many others.  The mention of instrument makers had me listening for preferences.  I particularly liked the Guadagnini violin and found the Amati viola somewhat nondescript, but there are so many factors.  Not least Llewellyn Hall which always seems cavernous and particularly so for this lineup.  They played Stanhope, Faure and Dvorak in that order and that's the order of my preferences.  From talking with other audience, I got the feeling Dvorak was the fave and Stanhope the unwelcome.  Certainly he was different, all odd counts and more modern harmonies.  I found myself trying to count while phrases seemed to fall as 5 then 5 then 4 then whatever, but probably sitting within 4/4 bars.  I was not sure but intrigued.  The Faure was also soft but, given the informed introductions to each piece, had me thinking French vs German and I could feel the difference and that intrigued me.  Then Dvorak, with pretty simple underlying chord structures and mostly predictable parts over.  There were some spots I warmed to (mvt.4?) but mostly it just seemed obvious stuff.  This music has gone on for a few centuries and can become ordinary without the churn of change to disrupt and enliven it.  But just my uninformed musicological thoughts.  The works were Paul Stanhope My song in love unknown (2000), Faure Piano quartet no.1 Cmin, Dvorak Piano quartet no,2 Ebmaj.  Comfy keys...

Kathryn Selby (piano) convened Andrew Haverson (violin), Tobias Breider (viola) and Miles Mullin-Chivers (cello) at Llewellyn to play Stanhope, Faure and Dvorak.

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