Brahms at Teatime

The organisers of Music @ 100 Princes Street are known for showcasing the best in up-and-coming talent, of which The Busch Ensemble are a fine example. Consisting of musical director Mathieu can Bellen on violin, Jonathan Bloxham on cello and Omri Epstein on piano, the trio delivered Haydn and Brahms pieces with exceptional ability.

Their performance of Haydn’s ‘Trio in G Hob XV/25’, also known simply as ‘Gypsy’, started off bright, smooth and easy on the ears whilst the second movement was slower and sweeter, with van Bellen being prominent on violin. Although the three musicians are young, they perform with a great sense of discipline and played the first piece more properly than passionately.

During the third and final movement, the ‘Presto’, the music becomes faster and full of excitement. All three musicians kept a set rhythm, playing melodies both in unison and harmony, keeping things very neat. The dynamics, however, are ever-changing and this is something that the ensemble had mastered, staying together to give the piece a stronger structure which was very straight and to the point.

In contrast, the Brahms piece, ‘Trio in B Op 8’, saw the Busch Ensemble deliver a much more passionate performance that they could really get into. This was shown not just in how they played but also in how they moved. It started off a little more forcefully than the Haydn piece: more serious and almost experimental in parts. The melodies helped to create texture and even when the piece itself got slightly hectic at the end, the ensemble pulled it back together.

The second movement saw a playful use of rhythm and powerful use of dynamics before the third slowed things down with sustained notes on cello. It became softer with the solo piano. The final movement of the Brahms piece brought everything together and built the piece up to a dramatic climax: with the stabbing of piano keys and resonance of strings, it was a very impressive sound for just three musicians. Ultimately, the group provided a refreshing performance, throughout which their passion seemed to grow, making for an increasingly delightful concert.

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Performances

The Blurb

Works by Brahms and other 19th-century masters performed by award-winning musicians including cellist Brian O’Kane, pianists Timothy End and Ashley Fripp and The Busch Ensemble. Different artists and programmes each concert. Tea/coffee and shortbread afterwards. www.roslarts.org.uk.

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