|Robert Atchison - Violin|
Personal emotions, like many other around me, are confused during the red tinted days between Remembrance Sunday and the eleventh hour of the eleventh month. Just as confusing and enlightening was the sentiments stirred up by the London Piano Trio as they celebrated Music under Stalin. For this day marked the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. On the night of November 9, 1989, the most potent symbol of the Cold War division in Europe tumbled. Earlier that day, the communist authorities of the German Democratic Republic had announced the removal of travel restrictions to democratic West Berlin.
|David Jones - Cello|
The first movement of Sviridov's masterpiece, quickly highlights Robert Atchison's versatility. With bow tapping on string he gives us a tip-toeing tension. It is a peck of a bird, a drip of a gutter and with the cello of David Jones joining too it has a sinister Hitchcockesque edge. You hear the folk influences of Sviridov's early tuition in the second movement, Sherzo. As you would imagine it was vigorous and playful but it also talked of power and strength. There was a sparse modernity during the third that built the tension once again between violin and cello. The pulse was so strong in the fourth, marked Idyll, you almost believed there was a drummer behind St John's mammoth pillars. It had an incredible vocabulary that left us hanging between the height of the strings and depths of Olga Dudnik's piano.
|Olga Dudnik - piano|
The pounding of proud breasts wasn't the only sound we heard on this day of double meanings. Juxtaposed beside the poetic fantasies we also heard the strings of Atchison and Jones under pressure, notes of pain and tension tempered those of patriotic fervour.
ps. regular readers will know I started my apprenticeship under Rich Rainlore of Rainlore's World. I was lucky enough to see him at the concert and spend some time with him and his beautiful PA Chetna Kapacee. I hope this means a return to London's live music circuit. We all miss him.