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In Mozart's B-flat major trio (K502) Messrs Allifranchini (violin), Bagratuni (cello) and Prutsman (piano) seem somewhat detached and the three-movement trio (Allegro, Larghetto, Allegretto), while nicely balanced, proceeds with marginal sophistication or shimmer [watch and listen -- chapter 4, 10:19-11:19]. Maybe the cameras proved off-putting -- who can tell?

In the intermission, sandwiched between the 18th and 19th century works, the musicians were seated on stage (rather resembling the three wise monkeys -- Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru) during an inconsequential, yet good-natured interview.

The Nobilis Trio interview. Screenshot © 2000 D'Alessio Media Inc and NHK
The Nobilis Trio interview. Screenshot © 2000 D'Alessio Media Inc and NHK

The predominant focus of this brief triologue considers the difference in approach when performing Nobilis' two featured composers; -- hardly a great mystery for the moderately informed concertgoer.

Smetana's impassioned Op 15 Trio finds the musicians significantly more 'pepped up' than hitherto and the discursive three-movement structure (Moderato assai, Allegro, ma non agitato and Finale: Presto) was more involving than anything that had gone before.

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Copyright © 16 January 2008 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand

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Cadenza Programme Note Library - Programme Notes by Mike Wheeler