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

Posted on Thursday 14 May

Churchill Music!’s latest 'find' is the Aquinas Piano Trio who performed a programme of Haydn, Debussy & Saint-Saens to a near-packed audience at St John the Baptist Church, Churchill on Saturday 9 May. Though recently formed, each member of the trio brings a wealth of experience, and it is evidently a match made in heaven. Ruth Rogers (violin) and Katherine Jenkinson (cello) played with relaxed and effortless musicality, supported by virtuosically meticulous piano playing from Martin Cousin. Listening to this trio performing as one, I couldn’t help thinking of the great violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin whose technique was so relaxed that every last drop of his musical soul was shared with his audience via the music. It was almost as if the Aquinas Trio was performing with us, not for us.
The programme was carefully chosen and suited the group (and the audience) beautifully. Haydn’s “Gypsy Rondo” trio was as gleefully spirited as its title suggests, with the final movement being such a delightful romp that one couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. Next came an early work by Debussy in which the myriad of experimental musical devices, which occupied the young composer, were sensitively dealt with by the Aquinas. After the interval we were treated to Saint-Saens’ second piano trio – an exemplary canvas for the musician’s art, showcasing everything from broad-brush romantic schmaltz to meticulous counterpoint, and from delicate graceful lines, to complex interplay between the instruments. Totally in command of the considerable technical demands of the piece, the Aquinas launched themselves into it with maximum musical commitment and the result was breathtaking.
Rarely does one come across a group so relaxed and (rightly) confident in their technical abilities that they are able to focus so completely on the soul of the music. The Aquinas Piano Trio is one such group who not only satisfy the musical longings of the scores they play, but bring themselves closer to their audience; an audience which is surely set to grow as these young prize-winning stars take the stage with vitality and exuberance, as a Trio.
Bravo Churchill Music! on a fabulous find.

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