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Sunday 17 September

Argyle Trio

“Balzat and Matheson lost no expressive opportunity in a performance that was deeply satisfying” – (Jo St Leon, Hobart)

Robert Ashworth (viola), Chen Cao (cello),
Sarah Watkins (piano), Andrew Beer (violin)

Programme

Beethoven

Piano Trio, Opus 1, No 3

Smetana

Piano Trio in G minor, Opus 15

Dvořák

Piano Trio in E minor, Op 90 (“Dumky”)
In 2020 Wilma Smith was excited about introducing us to her new Argyle Trio with its outstanding young musicians, Laurence Matheson and Matthias Balzat. However, Covid border restrictions kept Laurence out of the country. Michael Houstoun kindly stepped in to enable the tour to proceed – a very satisfactory substitute indeed! Nevertheless, we hope that this time we will finally hear the original combination.

The programme opens with one of Beethoven’s earliest chamber works, written when he first moved to Vienna hoping to make an impression on the city’s musical elite.

The trio by Smetana was written for a very different reason. Following the death of his infant daughter in 1855, Smetana immediately began writing this piano trio, dedicating it “in memory of our eldest child Bedřiška, whose rare musical talent gave us such delight”. There is no mistaking the serious mood of this work. All three movements are in G minor, and even the major sections do little to change the sombre mood.

In contrast, Dvorak’s “Dumky” Trio has a constant mix of emotions in its six movements. “Dumka” means “a fleeting thought” and the music constantly fluctuates between brooding melancholy and sharply contrasting interludes of lively dance-like exuberance.

This concert is generously supported by the Deane Endowment Trust