20 August 2012
The Leonari Trio strutted their stuff at Mills Reef last night turning what could have been a sombre occasion into one of melody-rich delight.
In a concert organised by Tauranga Musica, two elegies - those songs of mourning - and Beethoven's Trio No 5 in D Opus 70, the so-called ghost trio, comprised the programme.
Beethoven's trio from his middle period was dubbed "The Ghost" because of the eeriness of the second movement which might have orginally been written as part of McBeth.
Whatever the truth, it was obvious from the first notes that pianist Maria Mo, originally from South Korea, violinist Hilary Hayes and cellist Edward King were not intimidated by its spookiness.
The three musicians handled the work well, with Mo making the most of the virtuosic piano part. The intonation and sensitiveness of the string players was always excellent and the rapport needed for good ensemble work was obviously always in place.
The Arensky elegy, Piano Trio No 1 in D Minor, in four movements has its own difficulties for the musicians but this piece was the evening's star.
The two middle movements - the scherzo and the elegia - were beautifully handled by all players.
Somethimes Mills Reef can be difficult accoustically and at times piano dominated to the detriment of the other two instruments but that is a small quibble in an otherwise excellent performance.