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Ensemble Kopernikus

15 January 2022

A chilly, damp night is Ripon was restored to a delightful evening by the enthusiasm and pleasure by this ensemble of performers.
Their programme of Faure, Schubert and Walton was refreshing and demanding in equal measure and the audience in Holy Trinity Church were more than satisfied they had made the right decision in attending to hear live music, some very familiar, some very deserving of intense concentration.
For me the highlight of the evening was a piano quartet in D minor by William Walton. This work is not frequently performed. It is very demanding for all performers and listeners and when it is played as professionally and movingly as this it excites and delights by turns. The viola player, Jordan Sian, had replaced Otoha Tabata and his playing enhanced the performance especially in his solo phrases, those without piano accompaniment in particular. It is a work in which all the parts are necessary for the whole and no movement could be satisfactorily taken in isolation ; the first movement ends on a query from the violin which the rest of the music seeks to answer. The quiet, third movement provides respite from the stormy second movement which is reminiscent of the roaring southern ocean as it must be to a solo sailor. Although brief the final movement sums up the turmoil of the earlier discourse but provides us all with resolution. I particularly enjoyed the cellistís playing throughout and Alice Purton has a pizzicato technique which makes a ringing sound exactly as needed when it is a vital part of the music.
For any parents of budding musician children, Alice Purton and Ian Tindalesí playing of Sicilienne, Elegie and Papillons by Gabriel Faure will have renewed many memories but for me the intensity of feeling in the Elegie was particularly moving.
The first work in the programme was performed by Kasia Ziminska, violin and Ian Tindale pianist. It is never easy to start a concert and this duo performed extremely well Violin Sonata no.1 in A major by Gabriel Faure. This work is not typical of Faure being quite bombastic at times and for me the balance of sound for violin and piano was not even. The violin was a bit overwhelmed by the piano. Having said that it was sensitively performed and I enjoyed the dialogue between the instruments very much. It is a work which gives great opportunities for both instruments and there was not a dull moment in the performance; the final movement in particular brought the music to a fluent and lovely conclusion.
Last to be considered, but certainly not least, there was Schubert played second in the concert. A trio played by the violinist, cellist and the pianist, this music was composed six years before the untimely death of young Franz Schubert who was also much affected by the death of Beethoven. It is a dark emotional work entitle Notturno posthumously by the publisher although itís title was Adagio in E flat. It is a work which gives the pianist great scope to shine and Ian Tindale certainly did that but not at the expense of the other two players.
What a lovely evening this was and it was enjoyed not just by the audience but it was clearly enhanced by the enjoyment and enthusiasm of the performers.
Moira Smith 13/1/2022

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