Cepicky Rosefield Dussek Piano Trio at The Radlett Centre ****
Radlett Music Club, Tuesday 6th October 2009
The members of this trio - Leos Cepicky (violin), Gemma Rosefield (cello) and Michael Dussek (piano) - successfully met the challenge of playing with perfect ensemble, and the programme gave each of them ample individual opportunity to shine. The three works played represented three different ways of exploiting the piano trio form.

Beethoven's Piano Trio in C minor is one of his earliest published works, written about 1793, so it counts as late classical. Already it had the romantic vigour that perhaps prompted Haydn's reservations about it. The performance displayed excellent co-ordination and well judged dynamics. Dussek's restrained interpretation at the piano was a reminder that at the time the instrument used would have been a fortepiano, with a different timbre and much less volume and sustaining power than a modern grand pianoforte. There were hints of a keyboard sonata with string accompaniment, which was how such a work might have almost have been perceived when composed.

Dvorak's Piano Trio in E minor has a very different character. There were six movements, using Czech folk music idioms for which the Slavonic word is dumky. There were suggestions of gypsy music in the first movement and a bell effect in the second. In triple partnership, each of the three players rendered with conviction the contrasting themes and emotions, making this perhaps the most appealing work in the concert.

Mendelssohn's Piano Trio (Opus 49) bridges the classical and romantic periods. It opens with a well known theme played on the cello. Rosefield's strong and beautiful tone provided perhaps the outstanding memory of the concert, but here and elsewhere tended to overshadow Cepicky on the violin. He had his best passages in this work. The Finale required Dussek to hold the movement together with sustained brilliance at the piano, bringing the concert to an exhilarating conclusion. The effect was almost of a double concerto for violin and cello with piano accompaniment.
Graham Mordue......