Sitkovetsky Piano Trio

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Sitkovetsky Piano Trio play Beethoven's Ghost Trio 2nd movement
Recorded live at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Trinity College of Music, London 
2014-03-25 The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney

Musica Viva patrons might have stayed away from this subscription series recital because of unfamiliarity with the ensemble on show. If so, they missed the chance to catch a piano trio of outstanding ability and thorough insight, on a par with the best that the organisation has toured in recent times. These musicians have been performing together since their pre-teen years and it shows, both through their technical confidence in one another and by a kind of interpretative empathy that operates throughout large-scale works.

In fact, the longer Saturday night's program lasted, the more engrossing was the display of unflappable command. Violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky gave a gripping start to Smetana's G minor Trio, leading his colleagues on a path that embraced the composer's eloquent melody-writing and the fierce emotion that permeates each of the three movements. Pianist Wu Qian managed the difficult task of being both supportive and prominent in turns, shown especially well in a confident account of the rapid-fire finale.

The Sitkovetskies have recorded this work, so a consequent ultra-familiarity shone out. Their achievement in Beethoven's Archduke was just as eloquent, the timbre of cellist Leonard Elschenbroich a continuous pleasure, particularly in close partnership passages with Sitkovetsky during this massive work's slow movement.

The group also premiered Carl Vine's Piano Trio, commissioned for Musica Viva and instrumentally action-packed, Qian kept particularly busy in its final pages.

On Tuesday night, Beethoven will be replaced by Tchaikovsky's A minor Trio. Hear these players while you can - they're well worth it.

(Clive O'Connell)
REVIEW from 2014-03-25