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Sitkovetsky Trio plays Brahms & Schubert

Brahms: Piano Trio No.3; Schubert: Piano Trio No.2

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The Sitkovetsky Trio were in fine fettle for their Wigmore Hall concert in September 2013. And the audience were obviously rapt as there’s not a peep out of them until the final applause.

There’s plenty of muscle in the first movement of Brahms’s Third Trio, the Sitkovetsky balancing this with easeful quieter passages. And they realise well the spectral qualities of the second movement, even if some other groups may find more lightness of texture in the slow movement; the finale balances power with a kind of barely suppressed glee, the piano underpinning the movement’s many shifts in mood and tempo.

Dance is the first thing that strikes you about the Sitkovetsky’s reading of Schubert’s Second Trio. It has enough punchiness in terms of accentuation, combined with a very sure sense of direction. This contrasts with the second movement, which the Sitkovetsky judge to a nicety. The catch-me-if-you-can Scherzo is smilingly done, the sense of dance again to the fore, while the stamping Trio provides contrast without undue aggression. The finale also sets off with a good spring its step. Yes, some may find greater darkness in Schubert’s more turbulent writing, but overall this is an impressive achievement.