Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Adelaide Town Hall. 27 Nov 2016
This was the third of three concerts showcasing the colossal talents of Pinchas Zukerman and his trio. It was a chamber music concert that has been without equal in Adelaide for some years. The programme was unashamedly grounded in entertainment, and it showcased the almost incalculable possibilities of the romantic duo, quartet (without actually playing a quartet!) and octet repertoire for strings.
The Debussy Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor is beautifully understated and Amanda Forsyth (cello) and Angela Cheng (piano), who are members of the Zukerman trio, convincingly demonstrated that less can be so much more. The sparseness of the score felt anything but.
César Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in A is one of the finest examples of the repertoire, and with perfectly disguised strength Pinchas Zukerman entirely filled the Adelaide Town Hall with the composition’s rich and eminently hummable melodies to the almost ecstatic delight of the large Sunday afternoon audience that couldn’t have cared less that Australia was at last wreaking its vengeance on the Proteas down the road at the Adelaide Oval.
Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E flat, Op 20, is a giant of the repertoire and was written when he was only sixteen. Despite the composer’s youth, the work comes across as a highly mature composition. At times, it is almost a ‘duelling banjos’ between two separate quartets, while at other times it has all the hallmarks of symphony for strings. Joining Zukerman and Forsyth were six members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra: Natsuko Yoshimoto, Cameron Hill and Michael Milton on violin, Imants Larsens and Michael Robertson on viola, and Simon Cobcroft on cello. Zukerman and Forsyth led the ensemble with precision and controlled stylishness. Cobcroft showed why he is a worthy nominee in the category of Individual Professional Performance in the 2016 Adelaide Critic’s Circle Awards. Larsens was animated and demonstrative and clearly expressed his unabashed enjoyment of the moment. The final notes were greeted with thunderous applause and wolfwhistles, and the octet was brought back for several bows.
Pinchas Zukerman surely would have left Adelaide in no doubt that we loved him and his trio and would welcome them back at the drop of a hat.
When: 27 Nov
Where: Adelaide Town Hall