Back in Perigueux for the continuing Sinfonia en Perigord season. The excellent Trio Zadig: Boris Borgolotto on violin, Marc Girard Garcia on cello and pianist Ian Barber, performed a remarkably diverse programme.
They began with Brahms ‘Trio no. 1 in B major’, which was completed in January 1854, when the composer was only twenty years old. It was a very lively performance, especially the second movement, the B minor scherzo, which alternates delicate passages with vigorous fortissimo outbursts.
Then followed a wonderful more recent piece, Benjamin Attahir’s ‘Asfar’, played in the presence of the composer, who took well-deserved applause from an appreciative audience. Attahir was born in Toulouse and writes music that explores the connections between east and west, as this piece very expressively does. It was a fascinating introduction to, for me, a new composer.
The highlight for me was the trio transcription of Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘Verklärte Nacht’ (‘Transfigured Night’), one of my favourite Schoenberg compositions. It was initially inspired by a mystical poem by Richard Dehmel, although Schoenberg later distanced the work from the poem, claiming that it was intended to express human emotion. I had never heard the trio arrangement, transcribed for by Eduard Steueurmann, one of the composer’s students, played live before. It was beautifully performed by all three musicians and brought a memorable evening to an extremely enjoyable close.
Johannes Brahms ‘Trio no. 1 in B major’, opus 8; Benjamin Attahir ‘Asfar’; Arnold Schoenberg (arranged ) ‘Verklärte Nacht’, opus 4.