Czech ensemble Trio Martinu return to Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 16:33 16 November 2018

Trio Martinu. PIcture: Martina Krenkova, Prague

Trio Martinu. PIcture: Martina Krenkova, Prague

Martina Krenkova, Prague

Top musicians last performed in Sidmouth in 2015 during their first UK tour

Trio Martinu. PIcture: Martina Krenkova, PragueTrio Martinu. PIcture: Martina Krenkova, Prague

It was in February 2015 that top Czech ensemble Trio Martinu made its first tour of the UK as part of the celebrations of its 25th anniversary.

Part of that tour was a visit to Sidmouth with a magical performance for the Sidmouth Music season of concerts.

Trio Martinu was formed at the Prague Conservatoire in 1990. Its line-up, Jaroslav Matejka on cello, Pavel Šafarík on violin, and Petr Jiríkovský on piano is unchanged since 1993. All are outstanding soloists and record regularly for the Czech Radio. Safarik and Matejka are assistant leaders of the Prague Symphony Orchestra and Jirikovsky teaches piano at the Prague Conservatoire.

They return on November 17 for a second performance for Sidmouth Music. It takes place in the parish church, at 3pm.

In their performance in 2015, it was the precision of the three working together to produce superb music that enthralled their audience. This will be a programme of different pieces, of course, but the same standard of excellence should be the hallmark of the trio’s performance.

They will open with a piano trio by their compatriot, and namesake, composer Bohuslav Martinu. This substantial work, his third piano trio, is built on folk-like themes, and was written in New York in 1952 when Martinu had reached his 60s.

Mendelssohn made his first attempt at a piano trio aged 30 and in this he succeeded in writing the most significant piece of his output for the year of 1839, at the height of his fame as conductor for the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. It remains one of his most popular compositions to this day, melodic and full of warm emotion, as well as being exemplary in its form.

The Martinu Trio return to home territory for the final piece, the Third Piano Trio by Antonin Dvorak. Like the Mendelssohn trio, this trio has stood the test of time in its popularity with audiences. It is an intense piece, full of feeling which probably reflects Dvorak’s emotional state after the recent loss of his mother.

Tickets at £17 are available from Paragon Books or the TIC in Sidmouth, or on the door. Online purchases can be made through Sidmouth Music’s web site at where there is also more information on the forthcoming concerts in the series.

Stephen Huyshe-Shires

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