Brighton Year-Round 2019
The Kelleth Piano Trio – Rachel Ellis, Siriol Hugh-Jones, Stephen Carroll-Turner – play Beethoven’s Archduke Piano Trio in B flat Op 97.
Soloists Rachel Ellis, Siriol Hugh-Jones, Stephen Carroll-Turner make up The Kelleth Piano Trio. Playing just one work, the Beethoven Archduke Piano Trio in B flat Op 97.
Dating from 1811, it’s his last, most expansive, and the one where Beethoven had to finally end his virtuosic pianism, since he could no longer hear. The Kelleths give an Archduke-like reading: expansive, unhurried, with a full resonance giving bloom to the strings and piano Luckily too this ensemble own a wonderfully sustained through-line of legato and string production, allowing them to take a magisterial unhurried unfolding.
This is most evident in the opening Allegro moderato, 4/4 when the themes themselves flow and stop, Carroll-Turner displaying his gift of shaping from the piano. The succeeding Scherzo in Allegro speed (also in 4/4/) plays with loud and soft, as well as abrupt stops and sudden wheel-abouts as well as a stepping-figure in playful trio of triplets stopped with a two-note fermata.
The Andante cantabile ma però con moto. Poco piu adagio in radiant but harmonically remote D major starts off soft but multiplies in complexity with more interplay and opportunity for the piano, and with a wonderfully aspiring melody as ‘cantabile’ suggests. This was extended to an almost hallucinatory degree, and speaks volumes for the trio’s artistry, being able to hold their signing line without faltering.
The finale – Allegro moderato to Presto – recalls the scherzo in structure and velocity with a sudden slant humour underscored by the piano. Starting in 2/4 it moves to the more gallumphing 6/8, a rather jerky humorous side of Beethoven. There’s spectral passages too, though fleetly registered and it’s a generally a sweeping optimistic summing-up. There’s a glowing quality to this conclusion. Consummate and wholly satisfying.