Strings at the Wigmore

String players in orchestras have a certain anonymity because they are part of a large group, as opposed to the woodwind soloists; yesterday evening's chamber concert at London's Wigmore Hall gave members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra a chance to shine in small chamber groups, playing Dohnányi's Serenade in C, Shostakovich's Two Pieces for String Trio, and Brahms's second String Sextet.

The Hungarian composer Ernö Dohnányi tends to be known largely for his entertaining Variations on a Nursery Song; but he also wrote two fine Symphonies, two Piano Concertos, a Violin Concerto, and a good deal of attractive chamber and piano music. His Serenade for String Trio - violin, viola and cello - is flowing and romantic, and remarkably sonorous for a small group, with complex harmonies blended into a lush sound. Vesslin Gellev (violin), Alexander Zemtsov (viola) and Kristina Blaumane (cello) gave a committed and passionate performance.

After the short and spiky Shostakovich pieces, the evening ended with the Second Sextet by Brahms. The scoring is for exactly double the Dohnányi - two each of violins, violas and cellos - but surprisingly the sound was far less lush - Brahms's romanticism was achieved with a greater inner clarity and detail. The work is a good deal more complex in its appeal than the Dohnányi, requiring a finesse and control of playing which was easily achieved by the fine string playing of Pieter Schoeman and Katalin Varnagy (violins), Alexander Zemstov and Susanne Martens (violas) and Kristina Blaumane and Laura Donoghue (cellos). Today it will be back to the anonymity of the orchestra; yesterday was a well worthwhile opportunity to hear them as individuals.

Download a Google Earth placemark for the Wigmore Hall

Posted: Fri - June 15, 2007 at 09:22 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM