Hun­ga­ri­an T­rio de­lig­hts with lig­ht mu­sic

George Herald - - Arts & Entertainment -

The Hun­ga­ri­an T­rio en­ter­tai­ned Ge­or­ge mu­sic lo­vers with a de­lig­ht­ful pro­gram­me of sa­lon mu­sic in­ters­per­sed with gent­le a­ne­cdo­tes by Ga­bor Je­ney on F­ri­day nig­ht. Ga­bor Je­ney, vi­o­lin, the flau­tist Ne­ri­na von May­er, and Do­nat Pel­lei, dou­ble bass, play­ed "mu­sic with lig­ht cha­rac­ter de­sig­ned to ple­a­se" which was very po­pu­lar in Vien­na in the e­ar­ly 20th cen­tu­ry.

The con­cert o­pe­ned with an in­te­res­ting Je­ney transcrip­ti­on of JS Bach's Je­su Joy of Man's De­si­ring, af­ter which the first half of the pro­gram­me was main­ly con­cer­ned with Vien­ne­se walt­zes, in­clu­ding the se­ducti­ve and flir­ta­ti­ous Mei­ne Lip­pen sie kus­sen so heiss by Franz Le­har. This was fol­lo­wed by Ri­chard S­trauss's (no re­la­ti­on to the waltz kings) Di Ri­go­ri and Val­se from his po­pu­lar o­pe­ra Der Ro­sen­ka­va­lier.

Fe­renc Er­kel was a com­po­ser in Bu­da­pest wri­ting main­ly o­pe­ras of his­to­ri­cal cha­rac­ter, one of which in­clu­ded the Hym­nusz and Csár­dás. The hymn was ba­sed on Hun­ga­ry's na­ti­o­nal ant­hem and a csár­dás is a dan­ce in two parts: a slow in­tro­ducti­on fol­lo­wed by an ex­ci­ting, wild dan­ce with a gyp­sy fla­vour. It was in­ven­ted by a­ris­to­crats in the 1830s and was very po­pu­lar in the va­ri­ous dan­ce halls in Vien­na. Then we we­re tre­a­ted to a­not­her Je­ney transcrip­ti­on - of the Blue Da­nu­be; he­re the flu­te part cha­rac­te­ri­ses the con­ti­nu­ous flow of the gre­at ri­ver.

The first half en­ded with four Ro­ma­ni­an dan­ces by Béla Bar­tók. The­se are va­ried in cha­rac­ter, ran­ging from a he­a­vy stamp rhythm in the first through one with short ab­rupt phra­ses, the next one in a me­lan­cho­lic mood, to the fi­nal dan­ce, which was de­lig­ht­ful­ly lig­ht and hap­py.

Skil­ful

The se­cond part of the con­cert o­pe­ned with Liszt’s Hun­ga­ri­an R­hap­so­dy No. 2, w­he­re Pel­lei got to play the tu­ne as well. He is a­ble to co­ax soft, soo­thing sounds from the in­stru­ment as well as gre­at thum­ping bass no­tes. His sen­si­ti­ve and skil­ful playing ex­plains just why he is in such de­mand as a dou­ble bass play­er.

Franz Le­har and Em­me­rich Kál­mán we­re both com­po­sing at the sa­me ti­me in Vien­na in w­hat was kno­wn as the "sil­ver age of o­pe­ret­tas". Kál­mán's mu­sic of­ten com­bi­ned the waltz with the csár­dás and it was, in fact, he who com­po­sed Alom Alom, of­ten at­tri­bu­ted to Le­har.

My hit of the e­ve­ning was the haun­tingly beau­ti­ful All I Ask of You by Lloyd Web­ber. This du­et was lo­vingly play­ed by Von May­er and Je­ney, with

Pel­lei gi­ving a gent­le and u­nobtru­si­ve ac­com­pa­ni­ment.

We ex­pe­rien­ced the nos­tal­gic Un­der Pa­ris S­kies and Ga­de's Je­a­lou­sie Tan­go - gi­ven a good firm tan­go rhythm by Pel­lei, one al­most wan­ted to get up and dan­ce. The fi­nal pie­ce, Ro­nald Har­di­man's Lord of the Dan­ce, was a mas­ter­class in flu­te playing by Ne­ri­na von May­er that left us bre­athless.

The au­dien­ce ga­ve it a well-de­ser­ved round of ap­plau­se. As an en­co­re the t­rio play­ed one of Jo­hann S­chram­mel's walt­zes sho­wing off the po­pu­lar mu­sic of Vien­na of the ti­me.

This was a very sa­tisfying e­ve­ning of lig­ht mu­sic, which is the hal­l­mark of the Hun­ga­ri­an T­rio, and we ho­pe that t­hey will re­turn. - Sue Ri­js­di­jk

‘Pel­lei’s sen­si­ti­ve and skil­ful playing ex­plains just why he is in such de­mand as a dou­ble bass play­er.’

P­ho­to: Pau­li­ne Lou­rens

The beau­ti­ful per­for­man­ce by the Hun­ga­ri­an T­rio was well re­cei­ved on F­ri­day at the Oak­hurst In­su­ran­ce Ge­or­ge Arts T­he­a­t­re. From left are Su­san Hat­tingh (Ge­or­ge Mu­sic So­cie­ty mem­ber), Ne­ri­na von May­er (flau­tist), Do­nat Pel­lei (dou­ble bass), San­dra Til­l­brook (Mu­sic So­cie­ty) and Ga­bor Je­ney (vi­o­li­nist).

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