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<<<  <<  -- 2 --  Tau Wey    A DIVINE EVENING

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Schumann had no such structural problems in his Liederkreis, Op 24. The musical expressions he wanted to convey also flowed out much more easily and concisely. The change from the combination of piano trio to accompanied voice was very welcome, the transformation of sound and texture being an immense relief from the intensity of the piano trio. Indeed, it felt as if the voice that yearned to sing in Schumann's trio was finally given a human voice in the songs. Ivan Ludlow's powerful and beautiful voice was able both to illuminate the proud and masculine sides of this song cycle as well as to delve into the subtler semantics of the poems. The Welsh Folk Songs by Beethoven were equally successful. Unusually accompanied by piano, violin and cello, Beethoven arranged these songs for amateurs. In the hands of these virtuosi, this simple music could not help but dance, fly and rejoice. For the audience it was thoroughly entertaining.

The final work, Brahms' Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, had intense joy and life. The ensemble performed with a supreme sympathy for each other, which the audience by now had become accustomed to. There was a sense of unity and common purpose in their performance, which is the ideal of chamber music realised at its best.

The London Bridge Ensemble (from left to right: Tom Dunn, viola, Kate Gould, cello, Benjamin Nabarro, violin, Ivan Ludlow, baritone and Daniel Tong, piano). Photo © Benjamin Ealovega
The London Bridge Ensemble (from left to right: Tom Dunn, viola, Kate Gould, cello, Benjamin Nabarro, violin, Ivan Ludlow, baritone and Daniel Tong, piano). Photo © Benjamin Ealovega

It was a divine evening of music making. By the end of the concert, the pianist still hadn't tucked his shirt in! Yes, classical musicians are nowadays encouraged to dress down, but given the formal attire of the guests, shouldn't the host present himself at least as well?

Copyright © 9 June 2007 Tau Wey, London UK

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