You Review: Hermitage Piano Trio

US reader Nicky Kronenberg enjoys the Russian trio's performance of Schubert, Arensky, Brahms and Shchedrin

You Review: Hermitage Piano Trio
Hermitage Piano Trio


At the core of the Hermitage Piano Trio is the best of two musical worlds: the artistry of award winning soloists, and an ensemble whose close collaboration provides exhuberant musicality. Misha Keylin (violin), Tchaikovsky Gold Medallist Sergey Antonov (cello) and winner of the Rubinstein International Competition, Ilya Kazantsev (piano), each have significant individual achievement. Together, their music expresses a vibrant palette in the colour and dimension of sound.

The slow, contemplative melody of Schubert’s Notturno in E Flat Major opened this recital. The nature of this work, interspersed with harp-like piano and slow marching rhythms, appears to take us on a timeless journey; one which the Hermitage travelled with adept artistic sensibility.

Arensky’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor followed. One of the most lyrical of piano trios, Arensky’s work illuminates the nature of the Russian soul; and the Hermitage, by heritage, released the full scope of its musical spirit.

The later years of Brahms’s life comprised a more introspective time for the composer, and his Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, as interpreted by Keylin, Antonov and Kazantsev, crossed a musical landscape of strong energy and passion, lyrical yet restless composition, and mellow themes. All were expressed with consummate musical synergy.

A diversion to the contemporary work of the Russian composer, Shchedrin, ended the concert. Shchedrin asks us to reconsider our harmonic sense within the often discordant nature of contemporary culture. Three short pieces by this composer returned us from the musical past to the present.

The artistic and technical scope of the Hermitage Piano Trio has profound depth. This trio’s virtuosity should, in time, allow it to take its place among the foremost chamber music ensembles performing today.


Nicky Kronenberg, Boston (USA)



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