Amatis Piano Trio
November 28 2021
Review: William Ruff
Youthful exuberance combined with mature wisdom
It wasn’t a good weekend for travelling but the three members of the Amatis Piano Trio (hailing from the UK, Romania and Germany) were clearly pleased to be at Lakeside’s Recital Hall. Frequent visitors know what a fine venue it is but it’s still good to be reminded that its intimacy and high-definition sound are appreciated by some of the world’s top musicians.
Although the Hall was a bit chilly on Sunday afternoon, much warmth was generated not only by high-voltage playing but also by the friendly, enthusiastic introductions supplied by the Trio’s members: Lea Hausmann (violin), Sam Shepherd (cello) and Andrei Gologan (piano).
Early Beethoven came first: his Op. 11 Trio, originally written for clarinet, cello and piano but sounding every bit as genial and urbane in the version with violin. The Amatis Trio made a strong impression with the work’s expansive opening as well as its heart-on-sleeve Adagio. And they joyously captured all the wit, brilliance and inventiveness of the finale which takes a popular tune from a hit comic opera (as whistled in the streets of Beethoven’s Vienna) and subjects it to wonderfully ingenious transformations.
The short (but very sweet) Sérénade Lointaine by Romanian composer George Enescu came nex, followed by the programme’s major work: Brahms’ Piano Trio in B, originally written when he was just 21 years old but substantially revised 37 years later, thus combining youthful exuberance and mature wisdom. The work is clearly close to the hearts of the Amatis Trio who were alive to its drama, catching the ardent glow of its melodic invention and passionately committed in their phrasing and projection of rhythm.
The Trio’s fine playing and easy rapport with the audience (surely the essence of chamber music) meant that an encore was inevitable. Fauré’s Après un rêve did very nicely.
Amatis Piano Trio
Lea Hausmann, violin
Sam Shepherd, cello
Andrei Gologan, piano