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2018 Reviews

Clarendon Trio

Virtuosi Tasmania
Lifeway Baptist Church, Devonport

Although we have no formal reviews of the Clarendon Trio concert series, we are delighted to share some responses from a couple of our audience.

Drew wrote: Just ... home after [a] scintillating (and a multitude of other superlatives!) Devonport concert. THANK YOU so much for getting up early and crossing Tasmania to play for us. Passion, precision, power - and a hint of playfulness!

City Baptist Church, Launceston

Kristen wrote: Thank you for bringing us the Clarendon Trio. I am on a high for having encountered them. Such a commitment to finding and giving (so stunningly) a shared feeling for such glorious music. The inclusiveness in it, like growing something we get to meet and hold and be held by, with even the silences as notes they deeply enter, has left me feeling whole and enriched, even hopeful somehow. The height of humanity.

Beautiful that composers will tease their musical threads into marks on a page so that players like these might put them back together into something alive and larger, as they say, than the parts. My thanks to Virtuosi for supporting them. And my deep (and inevitably insufficient) thanks to the players.

Clarinet quintet

Virtuosi Tasmania
Riversdale Estate, Cambridge

The winning combination of two chamber music masterpieces for the clarinet pointed to a most satisfying concert experience; and so it proved to be! The works represent a burst of inspiration late in the careers of both composers through their association with two great clarinet players.

For Mozart’s “Clarinet Quintet in A major, KV 581” Andrew Seymour gave warmth and subtle phrasing nicely balanced with string performers Yue-hong Cha and Frances Davies (violins), Douglas Coghill (viola), and Martin Penicka (cello).

Brahms’s “Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op 115” is permeated by a mood of sadness expressed in rich harmonies making much use of the lower registers of both the clarinet and the strings. Seymour stated in his introduction that this would be the work he would choose if forced to decide on just one piece to play for the rest of his career. The very opening, beautifully rendered here, is one of those heart-warming musical moments that remain in the memory. Seymour and his colleagues were sensitively poetic throughout this memorable performance. The slow movement in particular was finely poised, and unfolding with purity and clarity of line.

Peter Donnelly