Thrilling trio perform in concert in Seaton

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 March 2019

Castalian at The Gateway, Seaton. Picture: Annette Bentley

Castalian at The Gateway, Seaton. Picture: Annette Bentley


Seaton Music enjoyed a trio's concert, instead of one from a quartet.

Seaton Music had eagerly awaited the concert by the renowned Castalian String Quartet on Thursday, March 21, but heard at the last minute that one of their players was indisposed.

The remaining trio (Sini Simonen, violin, Charlotte Bonneton, viola and Christopher Graves, cello) presented a programme of trio and duet music that delighted the large audience at The Gateway.

As they said, they had chosen music by the big names – Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart!

Sini Simonen introduced the programme, explaining from the players’ point of view, how playing trios is very different from playing quartets.

The music started with Schubert’s Trio d. 471, an early work including, in the words of the presenter, ‘all the typical simplicity, smiles and tears of the composer’.

The programme included two trios by Beethoven, opus 9 no 1 in G major and no 3 in C minor.

Where the C minor trio is full of mystery and anger (C minor is also the key of the fifth symphony!) and technically very demanding, the G major trio has a more ‘natural‘ feel, with an almost light-hearted ending.

The Castalian Trio played with energy and brought out the difference in the voice of the three instruments, especially clear in passages where one instrument echoes or imitates another.

There were dramatic surprises, lyrical moments, playful sections, and throughout, the Castalian showed their technical brilliance and musical range.

Their precision and balance, together with the ability to switch suddenly from soloist to an accompanying role made for an exciting performance.

The evening also provided an opportunity to hear a duet by Mozart (K 424 in Bb) for violin and viola, a work not often heard in the concert hall, but beautifully performed by Sini Simonen and Charlotte Bonneton.

Seaton Music’s final concert of the season will be given at The Gateway on Thursday, April 11, when the A4 Brass Quartet (‘technical virtuosity in abundance’) present a variety of music, including works by the society’s late patron, Gordon Langford.

Tickets available at the Gateway, online and on the door.

The concert is preceded by a short Special General |Meeting for members at 7pm.

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