Perhaps the poor weather kept some away, but those who were in Milverton Church for the Concert Society’s November concert were utterly enthralled last Friday. The Fujita sisters Megumi (piano), Arisa (violin) and Honoka (‘cello) played three masterpieces from three composers, all from memory and with stunning virtuosity. The ensemble playing was immaculate – every entry was spot on, every chord was bang in tune and the balance between the three instruments was as perfect as the music demanded.
And yet this was no sterile, metronomic perfection as you might get from a MIDI file. There was colour in the sound, beautiful phrasing, exciting dynamics and above all sheer beauty of tone from all three players. The communication between them was almost supernatural – it seemed as if all three instruments had combined into one.
Mozart’s C Major Trio (K548, 1788) may not be one of his most profound works but the Fujitas made it sound very worthwhile. The piano has the best of this work, and Megumi’s brilliant articulation was a joy to listen to, beautifully supported by the other two voices.
Clara Schumann’s lovely G Minor Trio (1846) is her greatest achievement and it was given a magnificent performance. The gentle Scherzo sounded playful, the Andante was heart-rendingly moving and the Allegretto finale brought some of the finest and most dramatic chamber playing I have ever heard. Time and time again I marvelled at the paradox of three separate lines each played with total clarity yet combining into a perfect ensemble sound.
The evening ended with Beethoven’s superb ‘Archduke’ trio, and the sisters’ performance was stunning. The fiendish pizzicato sections in the first movement were played with a precision better than any recording I’ve listened to – each note from violin and ‘cello was together to the millisecond, even during a fierce accelerando. From beginning to end this was an ‘Archduke’ to be revelled in and I felt priviliged to be there.
A lovely bonus was the encore of the ‘Allegretto’ by Frank Bridge.
Congratulations to the Milverton Concert Society for bringing such musical riches to our county; long may they continue. A full church would have been preferable, but it is very difficult to get the message out to the largest possible potential audience, and rain doesn’t help!
Review by Harold Mead