Friday, October 30, 2009

Klemeyer Trio’s Music Wins Friends

-Elizabeth Storey-Lawson-

On Saturday, October 10th, the music lovers of Prince Albert were treated to a superb performance of Chamber Music at Laetitia van Dyk’s Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg. The Klemeyer Trio from Hanover, Germany, presented a programme of works for piano, violin and flute covering almost two centuries of composition.

Chamber music is often called “the music of friends” and the demands on the musicians are quite different than those needed for a larger ensemble. The Klemeyer Trio is constituted of three brothers, Dietrich (piano), Ludolf (violin) and Hermann (flute) whose perfect synchronicity and flawless seaming belie both their musical expertise but also, one suspects, innate fraternal spirit.

The Jans Rautenbach setting was perfect for close viewing of their dexterity; the acoustics in the hall are very good and the theatre’s piano more than matched the pianist’s skill. Only, perhaps in the pianissimo passages, did it seem a little uncooperative.

The evening began with two J.S. Bach sonatas and a most beautiful Handel duet giving us the richness and complexity of 17th c. High Baroque. Hermann Klemeyer added special interest by explaining the provenance of the Bach Sonata in G flat – a challenge of instantaneous improvisation made to Bach by non-other than the German Emperor himself!

The second half of the program brought us to the 18th c. and the flowering of the Romantic period. Friedrich Kuhlau’s lyrical Grand Solo op. 57 in F flat perfectly reflects the changing compositional style. Kuhlau himself was credited as being ‘the Beethoven of the flute’ and he did a great deal to promote Beethoven’s works in both Germany and Denmark.

Franz Schubert, whom Schumann described as being “the most poetic of all composers”, provided us with an exquisite Sonatine in D flat for violin and piano. The second movement, andante, was especially melodic and tender, and the weaving of intricate harmonies beautifully delicate.

The final offering, “Five Pieces” by Cesar Cui, was not only a sheer delight but, I suspect (and speaking for myself) an utter surprise. Cui wrote at the turn of the 20th c. He represents one of the least known of the Nationalist Russian composers. His works are underperformed and certainly deserve more attention. This charming composition is particularly loved by the Klemeyer brothers as it was specifically written for their three instruments.

The very modern musician, Bono, claims that “music has the ability to change people’s lives” and with the performances of the Klemeyer that statement is made doubly true. All the proceeds from their concerts in South Africa – their visit was sponsored by Dr. Otto Muller, and Integrow Health Ltd of George - and the sale of their CDs, are donated to the Life Community orphanage in George.

It was an honour for us all to give our deepest appreciation and support to the Klemeyer brothers for the pleasures of their performances and their efforts on behalf of the children of our country

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