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Mendelssohn, Joachim & Fribbins

Mendelssohn Viola Sonata in C minor
Joachim Hebrew Melodies, Op. 9
Peter Fribbins Fantasias for viola & piano

Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) & Anthony Hewitt
London Chamber Music Society Music at Kings Place, 26 February 2012

This short concert was included in a Jewish Books Festival and for some strange reason it was reduced to one hour, a disincentive for Sunday regulars at Kings Place who noticed, and who are used to full length chamber concerts.

The Jewish composers represented were Mendelssohn and Joachim. Medelssohn's youthful viola sonata (the 2nd & 3rd movements are rather good) was ruined by bad balance, with the pianist overwhelming Jane's delicate tones on Kings Place's Steinway concert grand. Piano page turners ought to take on an extra role, and go into the auditorium to advise on balance, whilst artists have a warm-up session.

The Joachim pieces are more lightly accompanied and were the best part of the evening. I found Fribbins' pieces (the first of them composed for Sarah-Jane) less engaging than at St John's Smith Square last year.

Oeter Grahame Woolf