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Brahms, Boulanger & Grant

Brahms, Piano Trio no. 1 in B major, Op.8 (2nd version)
Lili Boulanger, D'un matin de printemps for piano trio
Julian Grant, Piano Trio (3rd movement)

Solarek Piano Trio
Marina Solarek, Violin
Miriam Lowbury, Cello
Diana Brekalo, Piano

9 Mar 2012 Charlton House, London

A pleasant hour at Charlton House, enjoyed by a large audience.

They began with the Grant trio movement, light and witty with a slowing pizzicato finish, which left you wanting to hear the rest of it.

Lili Boulanger died very young, but was promoted assiduously by her famous sister, Nadia; I heard one of her pieces conducted by Nadia at the BBC; all of them are well wrought and of enduring worth. This one, Springtime Morning, was a delight; too short, as indeed was the whole concert...

The Brahms trio was introduced in terms of its composition but played in the much later, much shorter version which might have become c.Op 108, but misleadingly is also published as op 8... It is rarely played, but has recently been orchestrated successfully as "Sinfonia in B" [Signum SIGCD191, recommended].

The late version was played at Charlton with vigour and commitment, but Brekalo, a powerful pianist, chose to have the piano on short-stick, which never really works. Szymon Goldberg memorably thrust it open at a master class and forbade its use, which I've never forgotten. She also struggled to turn her pages, snatching them disturbingly noisily; a piano trio really needs a fourth member to help with advice on balance and to do the not-easy page-turning task calmly (q.v. recent review of a viola recital). I thought the cellist strong and completely reliable, the trio's eponymous violinist a little less so.

But all in all this maintained the high standard of this series in a secret jewel of the London area, which was new to the visiting artists.

Ysaye, Paganini, Sarasate & Grieg










, 3rd Solo Sonata; Paganini, 1st Caprice;
, Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs)

Grieg, Violin Sonata no. 3 Op.45

Sean Riley & Nathan Tinker *

Charlton House, Lunchtime Violin & Piano Recital 16-Mar-2012

This quite spectacular and profoundly satisfying recital was presented by the The Royal College of Music, where both instrumentalists completed their training.

They each introduced items, making comfortable rapport with their large Charlton audience, which was roused to great enthusiam and demanded an encore.

Both regular partners were completely assured performers with busy schedules in UK and abroad, Tinker's fluency helped by his jazz studies.

Their exciting account of the Grieg squares up well with the classic Kreisler/Rachmaninov version.

My images, included with permission, have a regular member of the audience, a young violinist who began playing at 2, enjoying the occasion - awake and alert for my second picture!

Peter Grahame Woolf

*Nathan Tinker is an Anglo-Japanese pianist much in demand as a soloist and an accompanist; at the Royal College of Music where he pursued classical piano, jazz and composition. He has recently performed in at Walthamstow Abbey Church and the Victoria and Albert Museum and has been invited to perform in the Royal College of Music's recent concert series. He appeared with the Brighton & Hove Youth Orchestra and a solo recital at the Dartford Parish Church. Nathan is the official accompanist of the Royal College of Music Underground Association of Musicians and has recently been appointed accompanist for the Imperial School of Medicine Choir.