Alexandre Da Costa and Friends. WAAPA Music Auditorium. 17 April – Reproduced Review by Neville Cohn, West Australian, Saturday 18 April.
Fascinating fare which ranged from the profoundly moving to the delightfully ridiculous ensured an altogether engrossing evening of chamber music.
Violinist Alexandre Da Costa, Micheal Goldschlager (cello) and Anna Sleptsova (piano) gave an account of Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No 2 which riveted the attention. Written in 1944 in the aftermath of the Nazi’s siege of Leningrad, the work is the apotheosis of bitterness, despair and anger beyond anger – and the players did wonders in evoking the confronting harshness of much of the writing.
Relentless pounding piano chords and ear-grating dissonance on violin and cello – plus pizzicato that sounded as if ripped from violin and cello – brought us face to face with the composer.
At the other end of the mood scale is Bohuslav Martinu’s insouciant La Revue de Cuisine, music for a ballet about, of all things, kitchen implements. It’s delightful material, presented with panache by the Indian Ocean Ensemble, a newly established group of senior WAAPA students under the guidance of Da Costa.
These young player did well in conveying the essence of this tongue-in-cheek music. It is perhaps invidious to single out individuals but it would be ungracious not to mention the skill of Madeleine Antoine violin, Natalya Czernicziw (bassoon) and pianist Ryan Davies. Earlier we heard Martinu’s serenade and a movement from a divertimento by Joseph Haydn’s brother Michael.
This was in impressive debut by the Indian Ocean Ensemble.
As a curtain-raiser, we listened to Da Costa and Goldschlager in Norwegian composer Johan Halvorsen’s reworking of a Handel Passacaglia.