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Martinu & Dvorak

Bohuslav Martinu: Piano Trio No. 1 '5 pièces brèves'
Antonín Dvorák: Piano Trio No 3 in F minor Op. 65

Wigmore Hall Coffee Concert Sunday 14 Jan 2007 11.30 AM

Florestan Trio

Credit: Richard Lewisohn

Sold out, upstairs and down, this is a regular situation at the Wigmore Hall on Sunday mornings, and the Florestan Trio is one of the most popular groups amongst the regulars, who would have been quite happy to take on trust repertoire they are likely not to have known.

Both works are typical of chamber music of the period, written to satisfy the requirements of publishers and their public. The Martinu (1930) is concise, lasting inside 15 minutes, and was composed over a period of a week or two. Quite demanding, especially for the piano, it is characteristic of the composer, his harmony making him immediately recognisable. A good starter before the gravitas of the F minor Dvorak, in four substantial movements, in which Susan Tomes moulded the phrasing with never more than a touch of rubato in her own inimitable way, always watching her partners attentively.

There is an Amazon review which rates the work itself as up with the greatest trios of the period, although it is overshadowed in public affection by the later "Dumky". Highly recommendable is a Supraphon recording of 1979 which can be sampled on line; the Suk Trio's violinist is Joseph Suk, the composer's great-grandson, in the direct line of succession. But look out in case the Florestans make a modern recording for Hyperion...

Peter Grahame Woolf

P.S. The Florestans gave a full length recital at Wigmore Hall the previous evening. It can be heard for a week on BBC R3 Listen Again at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/mainframe.shtml?http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio3_aod.shtml?radio3/sundaygala

The Eben piano trio is a novelty worth catching; advance the listening time by 2 X 15 mins plus 5 mins & you'll be there.