Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us


Chamber music at Conway Hall & Blackheath Great Hall

Haydn, Arensky & Dvorak

The Fournier Trio

Conway Hall 3 March 2013

This was a wholly exceptional concert in Simon Callaghan's fine current series of Sunday evenings.

For the Haydn the strings were far more equal than often; the trios were really for Piano with Violin and the cello providing a doubling of the piano's bass line.

That relationship continued with the attractive, rarely played Arensky trio; during the interval people were already realising that they were present at something special.

It was capped by the serious D minor trio of Dvorak, a piece normally admired but without affection; last heard at Conway Hall a year ago with the Lakeside Trio.

This 2113 performance was riveting and notable for one's inability to see or hear that any one of the players was leading. From the third row upstairs it was perfectly balanced (many reviews, especially in the National Press, are mystifying because one doesn't know where the writer was sitting; acoustics can make a huge difference; q.v. the Emersons this month at Qu. Elisabeth Hall). I mention this because afterwards someone told me that the FOrnier's pianist had been heavy-handed, which I would firmly dispute...

This Dvorak trio can sound overbearing on radio or CD, I have found. The Fourniers (whence comes their name, not Pierre Fournie's I guess? - there is no clue on their website) found a perfect balance between strenuous passages and more intimate moments of relaxation and ineffable beauty. The audience response was so persistent that an encore was required, and Piazzola's Oblivion filled the bill perfectly.

Lest I be thought guilty of exaggerating, I finish by quoting below a perceptive review from the Park Lane Group*. I had heard violinist Sulki Yu under their auspices, but never the trio together.

I am eager to hear them in standard repertoire, and the soonest London opportunity is 18 April at the Oriental Club: Beethoven Op.70/1;Fauré & Brahms Op.87.

Peter Grahame Woolf

*PLGYA New Year Series 2011. The three Fournier players all have awesome but restrained technical ability and highly attuned chamber-music antennae [Peter Reed]