Churchill Music!UK Registered Charity No 1121866
Patron: Peter Donohoe CBE

Ruth Rogers, violin; Katherine Jenkinson, 'cello; Martin Cousin, piano

Review: Review

Buy a season ticket! If the opening concert of Churchill Music!’s 2010-11 season is anything to go by, then for goodness sake buy a season ticket and do so now before the rest of the world realises just what a gem North Somerset is hiding in the shape of this tenacious little music charity that pulls international standard concerts out of its magical musical hat as easily as you or I would make a cup of tea.

Opening its 2010-11 season last Saturday in their regular venue of St John the Baptist Church, Churchill, were the Aquinas Piano Trio. Formed only in 2009 this dazzling young trio is rising fast and it was easy to see why. So perfectly matched in their abilities and interpretation, the trio performed absolutely as one, creating ever shifting textures and colours in a perfectly balanced programme of Haydn and Dvorak, culminating with Beethoven’s magnificent ‘Archduke’ trio.

Setting an exuberantly cheerful tone, the Haydn A major trio, which obviously indulged the composer’s playful side, was performed with the heart warming vivacity that is the signature of the Aquinas piano trio. In particular, the cheekiness of the last movement came shining through and I was joined by a number of the audience in failing to contain a quiet chuckle – something about which I think Haydn himself would have been delighted.

Dvorak’s ‘Dumky’ trio – a musical set of fleeting thoughts (each called a ‘dumka’, hence the plural, ‘dumky’ - had me hooked from the very first bars when cellist Katherine Jenkinson set to with the passion and intensity usually reserved for the arresting opening solo of the composer’s cello concerto. Joined in similar fashion by pianist Martin Cousin and violinist Ruth Rogers, this was gripping stuff. Yet, there was also a lightness of touch in the group’s playing that allowed them to not only evoke each ‘dumka’ with exquisite subtlety of texture and colour, but also its fleetingness. It seemed almost magical.

Filling the second half with its grandeur was Beethoven’s ‘Archduke’ trio. This is a magnificent beast of a piece, not to be undertaken by the feint hearted and the Aquinas Trio were more than up to the challenge. With rarely a note out of place, their technical brilliance seems so natural allowing them to give themselves heart and soul to the music. It is this particular ability of the group that gives life-affirming freshness to almost every note they touch, and makes it seem that the music is fresh from the composers pen. If the Aquinas Piano Trio don’t go on to become one of the most admired of their generation I really will eat my hat.
Alice Harper, MA Cantab

Powerful individual players, Ruth Rogers, Katherine Jenkinson and Martin Cousin are also one of the country’s rising young piano trios. They return to bring their electrifying rapport to the trios of Dvorak, Haydn and Beethoven. They are all major competition prizewinners and have performed concertos with the country’s leading orchestras all over the world.

“Ruth Rogers and Katherine Jenkinson played with relaxed and effortless musicality, supported by virtuosic, meticulous piano playing from Martin Cousin. Listening to this trio performing as one, it was almost as if they was performing with us, not for us.” Alice Harper.

The programme for tonight's concert will include:
Beethoven Trio in B flat major No 7 'Archduke'
Haydn Piano Trio in A major Hob XV:18
Dvorak Trio in E minor opus 90, 'Dumky'

Event details
7.30pm - 9.45pm (approx.)
Saturday 2 October
St. John the Baptist Church, Church Lane, Churchill Somerset
There will be one interval.

Champions of Churchill Music! £9.50; Non Cahmpions £13.50 Under 22's in full time education, £2.00 sponsored by the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust
Tickets available from: 01934 852919

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