21 August 2012
The Leonari Trio’s first rate performance at the Concert Chamber on Monday (20 August) was packed with sparkle and elegance.
As the youthful violin, cello and piano players set about the demanding programme with commitment and team-work they left the audience in no doubt that here was an ensemble which has a fine understanding about how chamber music should be presented.
Not only are they skilled individual instrumentalists, graduates of the University of Waikato’s productive Music Department, but they got right inside the music, explored the depths of each piece and gave it coherence, and so showed a musical maturity beyond their years.
In Beethoven’s ‘Ghost Trio’, they found a splendid balance between its mysterious slow movement which gave the title to the piece, and the two light hearted outer movements.
Rachmaninov’s ‘Trio Elegiaque’ stood out for the ensemble’s dexterity in blending its many themes and colours.
Arensky’s Trio No.1 is supposedly a lament but Leonari made it more a moving tribute, a celebration to the appeal of music.
A pleasant surprise at the end was the third movement of the New Zealand composer John Psathas’s ‘Three Island Songs’. It overflowed with Greek verve and rhythms and made a delightful encore.