City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Trio Zimmermann, EIF 2012, Review

By Barbara Bryan - Posted on 13 August 2012

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Queen's Hall
Trio Zimmermann
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Trio Zimmermann
Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin), Antoine Tamestit (viola), Christian Poltera (cello)

One of the highlights every year on the Edinburgh International Festival programme is the series of chamber concerts held in the Queen's Hall where one is able to hear some of the best chamber musicians in the world.   Today's morning concert was with the virtuoso Trio Zimmermann, founded by the violin player Frank Zimmermann in 2007. 

Chamber music has a certain intimacy, indeed many trios were written for family occasions, and a similar atmosphere can be reproduced in a concert environment, particularly with the talent of these players, all of whom have developed a distinguished career as soloists: Frank Zimmerman on a Stadivarius violin, Antoine Tamestiti on a Stradivarius viola and Christian Poltera on cello. It certainly is rare to have two players on the same platform playing priceless Strads. 

The Trio began their concert with Schubert's String Trio in B flat. An Allegro, there are some beautiful passages in this composition and Zimmerman's violin playing was quite exquisite. The next piece was Schoenberg's highly complex String Trio Op 45. At times it has raging, contrapuntal, dissonant passages, which require the utmost concentration from the players, and some of the pianissimo passages were played so skilfully they were barely audible. 

This composition was written towards the end of Schoenberg's life; in fact, he had to stop writing half way through the work and was rushed to hospital where he almost died. When he returned home he continued with the work and certainly some parts of the piece seem to reflect his resistance to death and the work concludes inconclusively, suggesting a calmness that precedes the end of a life. A very difficult piece to play; the musicians excelled themselves with a virtuoso performance. 

The final composition on the programme was the most famous trio of all: Mozart's Divertimento for string trio in E flat K563. Written at a time when he was begging his sponsor for money, the composition - in six movements - was played flawlessly by Trio Zimmermann, particularly the Menuetto: Allegretto. When they had finished playing the audience erupted with well-deserved thunderous, appreciative applause. 

The Queen's Hall chamber concerts continue until lst September at 11am

Ticket Prices: £29/26/21