Concert Reviews


THE LONDON TRIO AT FARNHAM CASTLE

The Tilford Bach Society’s March concert was like a breath of spring, even if the weather outside did not match it. Haydn can always be relied on to raise sunshine and smiles, and the audience in the castle’s great hall was treated to two delightful trios by this composer as well as popular works by Bach, Mozart, Brahms and Elgar.

The London Trio, consisting of Richard Smith (violin), Lucy Shimidzu (piano) and Penelope Sapiro (cello), have built up a prestigious reputation in the capital since their formation in 2000 and the evening’s programme certainly demonstrated their versatility. In Mozart’s Trio in G, much admired by the older Haydn, the contrasts in mood from a dramatic Allegro to an elegant Andante and finally a light-hearted lively Rondo, were sensitively expressed. Then the sensuous melodies of Elgar’s ‘Chanson de Matin’ and ‘Chanson de Nuit’ transported us to the age of the Palm Court.

However, it was the performance of Brahms’s Hungarian Dances, brilliantly arranged for the trio by Lucy Shimidzu, that drew the most enthusiastic applause from the audience. Originally scored for piano, the addition of strings provided true gypsy passion, tugging at the heartstrings at one moment and whirling us away with breathtaking abandon at the next.

Our next concert on April 20th will be by the harpists Victoria Davis and Ema Mitarai who will play music by J S Bach, Tournier, Andres & Mayuzumi. Details of all our events including the forthcoming Tilford Bach Festival with Emma Kirkby are on our web site www.tilbach.org.uk.

The Farnham Herald


 

FARNHAM HERALD 5th April 2009

It is exactly two years since the London Trio performed for the Tilford Bach Society and it seemed that many members recalled their last visit because the audience was large. The group comprises Richard Smith (violin), Lucy Shimidzu (piano) and Penelope Sapiro (cello).

This musical trio is adept at selecting and playing a mixture of light and classical music that has wide appeal. Three excellent professional musicians, playing some pieces that are well known, such as the Blue Danube and Monti Czardas, as well as some Bach, Mozart and Haydn, are a good formula for creating an audience that goes home uplifted and humming tunes.

An enjoyable piece that was also in the programme was the Set 1 Miniatures by English composer Frank Bridge. It was simple and delightful, and also unknown to many.

The performance of Haydn’s Trio in C, Hob XV No. 27 produced very impressive virtuoso piano playing by Lucy Shimidzu, whose playing throughout this concert was exceptional and drew much attention from the audience.

The enthused audience demanded an encore and was rewarded with Richard’s firework violin playing in the exciting Brahms Fifth Hungarian Rhapsody, this containing a particularly good tune to hum on the way home.


 

BARBICAN: Mostly Mozart Series

The London Trio play with passion and precision, and involve the audience in their obvious enjoyment of the music.

Val Stevenson
nthposition.com [online magazine]


 

Hammerson House

The London trio played at Hammerson House by popular demand. The programme was varied to suit all tastes, performed by three delightful players. It was a musical conversation between violin, cello and piano, each voice equally important, sometimes engaged in fierce mounting argument; other times flowing in sweet agreement. At the end of the concert as the last notes died away, there was a hush, and a sense of utter peace, before we all returned to earth, uplifted and refreshed, to express our appreciation.

Terry Goodman
Hammerson House, The Bishop's Avenue, London


 

Centenary Centre, Isle of Man, 2009

Dear Lucy,

I am writing on behalf of the Centenary Centre to say how much we enjoy the London Trio's visits. As you know, you are now on our list of regulars after three very popular visits. For us as directors it is always a pleasure to greet you, as we know we are assured of pleasant company and a first class performance. More important than all that, is that our audiences are delighted by your music and the quality of your performance. You will be pleased to know that you fill more seats than any other classical music nights. On the negative side it does make it difficult for me to introduce audiences to other classical performers…..it’s always ‘when are the London Trio coming back’ !!

Well maybe next year?

Regards to you all

Keith


 

ART IN ACTION, 2007

What are the ingredients for a perfect summer afternoon? Sunshine, a light breeze, strawberries and cream; and, for my money, music. But whose music? Something to match the sunshine and the English bitter-sweetness. What better than a set of three Miniatures by the Edwardian English composer Frank Bridge?

This was the opening sequence of the London Trio's recital at Art in Action, at Oxfordshire's Waterperry Gardens, on 20 July 2007. Lucy Shimidzu offered a quick introduction to Bridge, lover of the south coast, pupil of Stanford, teacher of Britten, which gave us a handy context. The trio handled these three dances with a light touch, appropriate to the way Bridge passes the melodic material around from one instrument to the other while the others provide support. In the Minuet there's a nice balance between the bright declamation of the piano and the pizzicato accompaniment of the strings. In the Gavotte, by contrast, there are points where the cello and the bass notes of the piano seem to be vying for supremacy, and Shimidzu and Penelope Sapiro played this up nicely. The Allegretto was as playful as the first two movements, and the precision of ensemble was particularly good here.

Shimidzu arranged two Brahms Hungarian Dances, originally for piano duet; the overall effect was one of richness and bravura. Very nice. Can I have some more strawberries now, please?

David Goymore.


 

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