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Mendelssohn & Brahms

Mendelssohn - Piano Trio No 1, Op 49 (1839)
Brahms - Piano Trio No 3 in C minor, op 101 (1886)

The Busch Ensemble (Mathieu van Bellen - violin,
Jonathan Bloxham - cello, Omri Epstein - piano)

Wigmore Hall 8 July 2013
Photo Portrait Ian Dingle

Tonight's memorable performance showed The Busch Ensemble's incredible unity, abundant facility and deep musical understanding.

It is actually a piano trio, the three young musicians taking their collective name from Adolf Busch's Guadigni which the violinist Mathieu van Bellen plays; perhaps they have in mind to augment their group from time to time in the future?

The cellist, Jonathan Bloxham, played with a songfulness that made a great partnership with Mathieu van Bellen's incisive violin sound. That, combined with Omri Epstein's spectacular pianism, made the performance a joy both to hear and to watch.

For me the highlight was Mendelssohn's Piano Trio No 1, op 49, which the Busch Ensemble performed with glittering brilliance. The concerto-like piano writing in the first movement was carefully balanced and superbly executed. The heartfelt Andante con moto tranquillo was played with tenderness and warmth. The filigree Scherzo was masterful, and the Finale demonstrated incredible verve - all in all, breathtaking.

Clara Schumann's comment about Brahms' Piano Trio No 3, that it was 'ingenious throughout in its passion, its strength of thought, its charm, its expression!' was clearly demonstrated in the Busch Ensemble's performance. Their warm sonority suited the stormy 'Allegro energico' admirably, and made a refreshing contrast after their lighter sound in the Mendelssohn.

The audience was held in thrall throughout, rapturously applauding a performance which justly deserved it.

Clare Simmonds

See the Buschs play Haydn's Gypsy Rondo on Youtube. PGW

Cries of London/Peter Foggitt

Cries of London – Berio

Dem dunkeln Schoss – Brahms

Speak Parrot – Peter Foggitt

This evening was shared between The Busch Ensemble and this excellent small choir giving their praiseworthy and warmly received Wigmore hall debut.

The music was complex and presented under composer/conductor Peter Foggitt with an admirable precision and what appeared careful attention to diction, as seen rather than heard.

Many of Wigmore Hall's chamber music fans departed before the choir's last set, to their great loss. Might this have been partly because the programme book supplied had no words, despite a page and a half of spare space?

Probably similar repertoire will be featured in their promised CD, when no doubt that omission will be rectified.

Peter Grahame Woolf