GEORGE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS - Not even a decidedly chilly evening could keep a group of music lovers away from the Arts Theatre where they had come to hear the Bester Trio's presentation of Autumn Reflections.
This trio is made up of David Bester (violin), Jan-Hendrik Harley (viola) and Mariechen Meyer (double bass). An unlikely combination, you might say, but one that worked extremely well.
The programme opened with a suite for viola and double bass by Reinhold Glière (1875-1956). The first movement sneaked in quietly and continued with some wonderfully sonorous tones from the double bass.
The second movement was a sprightly set of variations and the work ended with a movement largely dependent on a variety of dynamics, carefully conveyed by the instrumentalists.
The Russian-born American violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky transcribed and arranged Bach's Goldberg Variations for string trio and we heard a selection of these at the concert. I was hugely impressed with the versatility of Meyer's playing in this work.
She coaxes a beautiful tone from her instrument and her nimbleness over the strings was magical. In this work the rapport between the players was clear and the arrangement was a great success.
Even the viola, normally the middle of the audible range, was given a chance to shine over a sympathetic accompaniment.
The second half of the concert opened with a Mozart duo for violin and viola. The first movement had a variety of changes of mood and Bester and Hurley watched each other carefully throughout. The second movement gave each player a turn with the tune and the upbeat finale was very satisfactory.
The concert ended with three arrangements by John Playford, a London book seller and music publisher, of songs by a composer named Grimstock. The first grew in an intensity of intricate weaving while the second gave the viola a chance to shine, with some gentle plucked accompaniment.
The final movement was a sprightly gigue, enjoyed by the players and audience alike.
This concert was just what was needed to chase away the Covid blues and chilly weather. I hope the trio makes a return to George in the not-too-distant future.
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