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TRANSFIGURED NIGHT REVIEW by Daphne Ashton

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TRANSFIGURED NIGHT REVIEW by Daphne Ashton

Transfigured Night

Armstrong Hall

The evening’s title was taken from a beautiful poem by Richard Dehmel. Schoenberg had fallen in love with his teacher’s sister and in less than three weeks had composed a sextet entitled ‘Verklarte Nacht’.  Briefly while walking one evening a young woman confesses to her lover that she is expecting a child by another man. Amazingly the lover says he will accept the child as his own and not make her conscience stricken.

Schoenberg had written the piece as a string sextet. Michael Lunts had kindly given me a copy. I found it rather heavy and was absolutely delighted to hear the piano trio version of it instead.

Robin Green is a superlative pianist and his wife, Maia Broido, a most sympathetic violinist matched by James Barralet on the cello. The piano added a lovely sonority to the romantic background of the young lovers. There was a quite beautiful dialogue between violin and cello. It made an amazing musical story achingly told by the three instrumentalists. It finished in a major key as if hope and resolution.Put fear aside, Schoenberg can be beautiful!

The opening Mozart Bb piano trio and the Schubert Bb trio afterwards were wonderful which swept away all darkness.

It was a privilege to hear such high class musicians here in Thornbury. Thank you Arts Festival. What a lovely idea to have candlelit tables lending an informality to the evening. All in all this was a tremendous opportunity to hear top class chamber music played in Thornbury.

Daphne Ashton

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