Blenheim Music Circle

Phoebe Woollam reviews The Mediterranea Trio

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Blenheim Concerts


The next concert is on Sunday 13th March
at 3.30 pm in the Chiswick Catholic Centre.

Borja Gόmez-Ferrer – tenor and James Williams - piano
Programme will include works by Schumann, Celia Harper, Turina, Tosti and Spanish songs.

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The Mediterranea Trio (Elenlucia Pappariardo - piano, Markella Vandoros - violin and Alessandro Sanguineti - ‘cello) gave the first recital of our 24th Season on Sunday 23rd January.

This young piano trio was established at the Royal College of Music in 2007 and has already had considerable success as an ensemble at London venues and elsewhere in the country.

The concert was well attended by an enthusiastic audience and the opening work, the PianoTrio in G major Hob XV;25 by Haydn, was well received. This popular work is a challenging choice and although there were charming moments, played with great sensitivity, the ‘cello dynamic was, to my mind, a little too intrusive at times for the acoustic, the limitations of the piano prevented Elenlucia from producing a truly cantabile tone and the Rondo was taken rather too fast which meant that the opening was not entirely safe. However, they caught the “gypsy” style well and the tempo changes were convincingly managed.

The next piece was Cecilia McDowall’s The Colour of Blossoms; a very challenging work to perform. On the whole this was imaginative, thoughtful playing. I again felt sorry for Elenlucia when the “bell “chimes in the extreme piano bass were (frankly) out of tune. However, all the players were committed to this exquisite piece with its contrasts of mood and rhythmic
complexities and gave a very successful performance.

The unfinished Trio in C minor Op 8 by Shostakovich is a youthful work written while he was still at the Moscow Conservatoire and as such is quite unlike any of his other chamber music. It is technically demanding but surprisingly romantic, full of expressive chromaticism, and this was an excellent performance.

The concert ended with the Piano Trio no 2 in C minor by Mendelssohn played with confidence and admirable attention to the long, expressive phrasing. There was beautiful, cantabile playing from all three players and the piano part was especially sensitive (again, difficult to achieve on this piano).

The only slight criticism I had on Sunday was that the players tended to be preoccupied with the notes in front of them and, as a result, the ensemble sometimes suffered. In my opinion there was not enough communication between the three of them to achieve a truly sensitive ensemble. However, this was a most enjoyable concert and a splendid start to the 2011 season.

Phoebe Woollam


January 26, 2011