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LARA JONES, NIGEL FISH, JITSKE BRIEN RECITAL (article first published : 2002-08-21)

Lara Jones, piano, first appeared in public in Durban more than a decade ago, when she was a young schoolgirl. For the past four years she has been studying in Cologne, Germany. Nigel Fish, cello, is a former leader of the cellos in the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and now a member of the symphony orchestra at Aachen in Germany. Jitske Brien, violin, has been a distinguished member of the KZN Philharmonic for many years.

Predictably enough, the high point of their recital was Beethoven’s Trio Op. 1 No. 3, one of a set which the 22-year-old fledgling composer used as a kind of musical visiting card after he arrived in Vienna from the provincial town of Bonn in 1792.

This particular trio, in C minor, is the best of them, with plenty of fire, a surging, singing theme in the final movement, and an almost ghostly conclusion. Lara Jones’s performance must have been a revelation to many in the audience. She has always been an intensely musical pianist, and now the years of hard work in Germany have greatly increased the power and authority of her playing. Her experienced partners in the trio maintained an admirable balance with the piano part, producing a memorable account of a fine work.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Trio Op. 8 brought forth more excellent playing in a composition that is both brilliant and lyrical. Some people find “modern” music forbidding, but Shostakovich is never short of romantic melodies, powerful effects and deep emotional feelings.

Lara and Nigel Fish, a cellist of the first rank, gave a fine account of Brahms’s Op. 78 Sonata, transposed into a lower key for the cello from the G major violin original, a lovely, graceful, rather melancholy work that is not played very often in public.

Jitske Brien, with Lara again at the piano, played two attractive violin pieces written in baroque style by a little-known twentieth century Spanish composer named Cesar Espejo.

The concert was given to raise funds for the Marc Raubenheimer Memorial Bursary Trust Fund, which helps young music students. – Michael Green




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