The Arts Desk Review: Prom Chamber Music 8: Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio

By Sebastian Scotney

She is habitually called “the violin star” but this was Nicola Benedetti in the role of dedicated chamber music player, thoroughly prepared and hard at work. Any expectations that she might play in a flamboyant or limelight-seeking way proved completely misguided.
Benedetti was at Cadogan Hall for the last of the eight Proms Chamber Music concerts, in her established trio with Frankfurt-born cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and Ukrainian pianist Alexei Grynyuk. In this context she is just one of the team, doing complete justice to a major work, in the full knowledge that the whole will be bigger and weightier than the sum of its parts.

That main work was Brahms’ Op 8 Trio, and everything that the trio did helped to reveal the complexities and demands of the work as a convincing whole. It presents tricky performance issues, and these had clearly been thoroughly addressed. Some groups are daunted by the length of the first movement, and miss out the exposition repeat. Here there was no shying away, and it worked superbly. The reprise of the opening theme was played even more beautifully and plangently second time round, with Eischenbroch in particular showing his gift for beautifully melodic and shaped phrasing.


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Photo by Jane Lawrence

Photo by Jane Lawrence