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Mozart, Stanford, Brahms

Mozart: Trio for clarinet, viola and piano in E flat major K.498 (Kegelstadt);
Stanford: Piano Quartet No.2 in C minor Op.133;
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op.25.

The London Soloists Ensemble

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Blackheath Great Hall, 21 Oct 2012 11:00

A thrilling recital by this newish group of distinguished senior instrumentalists, each well known in the latter 1900s, which is currently recording at the Great Hall and filming for You-Tube publicity, so John Lenehan told us. A Naxos disc is planned, and will surely include the Stanford quartet, only recently disinterred from a library and given very belated first performances. Most of them are featured in Musical Pointers reviews, and Karine Georgian is well remembered back in the the great days of the Almeida International Festival of Contemporary Music in the '80s, when Yvar Mikhashoff (1945-1993) was largely responsible for its adventurous programming.

The Mozart trio was as stylishly balanced as you are likely to hear, with Lenehan's discretion with the pedal leaving you content that period instruments were not being used. The Stanford quartet was a reminder that, aside from his teaching of several generations of British composers, Charles Villiers Stanford was himself a prolific composer meriting reappraisal. His Op 133 of 1913 is an entirely viable addition to the piano quartet repertoire - it has not even made it into the 2006 edition of The Piano in Chamber Ensemble, an indispensible guide, which should be at every Conservatoire (£20 from Amazon).

The Brahms quartet was given with such panache and exhilaration in the Gypsy finale that I felt we should all be up and dancing; depressing to look around and see the solemn expressionless faces of British concert-goers. Look out for the London Soloists Ensemble; next year they plan to feature music of Benjamin Britten.

Peter Grahame Woolf