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Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms & Dvorák
Horne, Staud & Wood

Austrian Cultural Forum
50th Anniversary Concert
Wigmore Hall Sunday 2 Apr 2006

Vienna Piano Trio
Ernst Kovacic (violin)
Christoph Berner (piano)
David Horne (piano)
Richard Harwood (cello)

Lydia Teuscher (soprano)
Daniela Lehner (mezzo soprano)
Daniel Johannsen (tenor)
Andrew Kennedy (tenor)
Ronan Collett (baritone)
Elena Larina (piano)
Heinz Medjimorec (piano)
Nicholas Rimmer (piano)
Kathron Sturrock (piano)
Introduced by Piers Burton Page

Joseph Haydn: Piano Trio in A HXV:18
Johannes Maria Staud: Towards a Brighter Hue for solo violin (ukp)
Franz Schubert: Klavierstücke No. 3 in C D. 946 from '3 Klavierstücke'
Antonín Dvorák: 2 Slavonic Dances
Hugh Wood: Erich Fried Songs Op 43 (wp)
David Horne: Zip
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Sonata in G K. 379; Comic Quartet K571a
Johannes Brahms: Liebesliederwalzer Op. 52 (a selection)
Johann Strauss: Tritsch Trasch polka

A better than usual gala event, nearly filling the hall for a convivial concert to celebrate 50 years of cultural support for ex-pat Austrians in UK and cultural, artistic and academic exchange between Austria and UK. The wealth of talent marshalled on and off the Wigmore Hall stage was remarkable, with a carefully conceived sequence of classical and modern music which ensured that ears remained fresh and receptive for two and a half hours.

Each group left no doubt that it could give us a satsifying whole recital - and indeed should be invited to do so at a later date. The roster of pianists was memorable. I had not heard the director of Fibonacci Sequence, Kathron Sturrock, play solo since a Schubert sonata performance (given at my son's school) impressed itself on my memory many years ago; Hugh Wood's settings of uncommonly interesting love poems received a worthy baptism by the robust tenor Andrew Kennedy, now regularly to be heard in London and further afield. Some of the other young singers were familiar to habituées of London's college opera productions and singing competitions, and they gave a fresh and exhilarating account of a generous Brahms selection, plus a Mozart quartet with words "too rude to print".

Ernst Kovacic (too rarely heard in London nowadays) introduced a fine addition to the solo violin repertoire, and cellist Richard Harwood, with pianist/prodigy composer David Horne, brought down from Scotland a piece which had real zip - I had ear-marked Horne as a small boy for future fame when he joined his teacher on four-handed piano at the Almeida Festival*, before going on later to become BBC Young Pianist of the Year (1988) then soon re-emerging as a successful composer.

The piano stools were occupied by six pianists, all of them excellent whether in chamber music or in four-hand duet; indeed a memorable feature of this afternoon was as an exposition of duo playing at its best. The musical event was assembled by master-mind Heinz Medjimorec, long-term pianist of the Haydn-Trio of Vienna, with his collaborators at the Austrian Cultural Forum.

Those who are able to hear the excellent recording made of the concert have a future pleasure in store (available from the Austrian Cultural Forum).

*... a short, dazzlingly animated Sonata for Two Pianos by Geoffrey King brilliantly dispatched by Richard Beauchamp and David Horne. ... Times Educational Supplement

© Peter Grahame Woolf