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  • 19.3.2009

    Musical landscapes in Ettlingen (never mind the spatial paradox)

    If this had been a 'musical journey', as the announcement suggested, we could have conveniently done most of it with the help of the Wiener Linien. (Only for the single Shostakovich piece we'd needed to get into an airplane, but that wouldn't have even affected everybody in the audience, for shamefully enough, many seats remained empty after the break, when the 20th century music was played.) The introductory talk, which gave an informative, if rather conventional interpretation sketch for the works on the program, didn't make anything of the traveling metaphor either. It referred to several cases where grievous experiences might have inspired the composers, so if it had to be that metaphor, calling it an 'emotional' journey would have been a better fit.

    On the program were Mozart's Trio KV 502, Brahms's Trio op. 8 (in the second, shorter version), and Shostakovich's Trio op. 67. (All of them piano trios, which means they're for piano, violin and cello.) The strength of Trio Elegiaque is its carefully tempered, finely blended sound and great teamwork. This was put to most effect in the Brahms Trio. Slightly less convincing was the Shostakovich piece. It features several rough and violent passages that were played forcefully, but with a noticeable loss of the fine attunement that seems otherwise to be the mark of this ensemble. There were two brilliantly played encores, both of them humorous pieces by Rodion Shchedrin.


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