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So, onto the music I heard them perform in London. Haydn's Gypsy Trio is a majestic curtain raiser, and their rendering possessed all the tenderness and vivacity which wholly satisfied those cognoscenti from the Arts, Radio and Television world who had the pleasure of listening to them for the very first time. I was speedily made aware of rich, firm tonal assurance by each player, and the way they skilfully blended together.

Brahms' Trio in C major, Op 87 is surely one of the most daring and brilliant chamber works from this composer's pen. It combines the kind of sweeping virtuosity and ardency that defies his detractors, who still firmly believe that every one of his pieces scored from three to six contestants takes on the aura and dimensions of his orchestral works. This is pure, unadulterated nonsense, as the music in question cries out for an ideal balance between parties, and a full sense of poetic and dramatic values in the long spells of melody and development. It was totally realised here in one of the finest renderings I have ever heard.

Sxhubert's Trio in B flat major Op 99 has a different set of requirements: notably in the Viennese subtleties of phrasing, and the typical nuances that add up to a style of performance where the composer's highly personal rubato plays a leading part. Perhaps the heat of the room -- by this time not contributing to allowing string players to keep their instruments in tune all the time -- made the performance rather heavy, a little inflexible in rhythmic values and continuity of line, but this is unnecessary quibbling on my part!

Indeed, our new Trio is a thing to cherish. Several professional musicians already regard them as the finest around, and their tour itinerary, in addition to the nine events either completed or about to take place, is growing by each day. The Conway Hall Chamber Music Series has booked them for the Autumn of 2004, and a 'first' CD is promised in Prague for this year as well.

I will be reporting with eagerness about all future happenings. Of course, everyone who has a high grade interest in the performance of classical music now realises that the focus has finally shifted onto the gifted cross-section of chamber groups on the international scene. Already I am firmly convinced that the Rosamunde Trio will hold their heads high in this respect, by conveying music's truths and delights to their mass audiences.

Copyright © 5 January 2004 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK


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