The Adamas Ensemble at St James’s Piccadilly Wu-Lin -Durmanovic Trio

What better way to spend lunchtime than in the company of Beethoven in such intelligent and artistic hands.
With all the office workers scrambling for some street food in the market that surrounds St James’s Piccadilly.Little could they guess what real nourishment lay inside one of the most atmospheric churches in London.
The scene is set for a Hitchcock film but instead we got two of Beethoven’s most intense chamber works.
A pianist who spun a magic web on which the clarinet and cello were happy to wallow and converse
The clarinet trio played with a buoyancy and joie de vivre of the young Beethoven.The clarinet giving a living sheen to the sumptuous golden sounds from the piano and cello.
What a contrast with the late Beethoven cello sonata where the weight and dark introspection contrasted with the knotty twine of the final fugato.

The Piano Trio in B flat op 11 is in three movements :Allegro con brio – Adagio – Tema con variazioni:Allegretto. It was composed by Beethoven in 1797 and published in Vienna the next year It is one of a series of early chamber works , many involving woodwind instruments because of their popularity and novelty at the time. The trio is scored for piano,clarinet (or violin ) and cello (sometimes replaced by bassoon ).

The key of B flat was probably chosen to facilitate fast passages in the B-flat clarinet, which had not yet benefited from the development of modern key systems.The work is also sometimes known by the nickname “Gassenhauer Trio”. This arose from its third movement which contains nine variations on a theme from the then popular dramma giocoso L’amor marinaro ossia Il corsaro (15 October 1797, Wiener Hoftheater )by Joseph Weigl. This particular melody, “Pria ch’io l’impegno” (“Before I go to work”), was so popular it could be heard in many of Vienna’s lanes (“Gasse” in German). A “Gassenhauer” usually denotes a (normally simple) tune that many people (in the Gassen) have taken up and sing or whistle for themselves, the tune as such having become rather independent from its compositional origins.

There was such scintillating charm in the first movement with the clarinet and cello answering the piano with a superb sense of balance .The piano lid full up but with such a good driver Damir never overpowered his two colleagues.The clarinet sung out with such refined musicianship following the streams of golden notes that just flowed from pianists hands with a liquidity and shape that was ravishing.The clarinet never outdone met every challenge with the same shape and colour with the cello following every move so attentively.The cello taking centre stage with the Adagio playing with real beauty and grace.The middle episode was so beautiful with the piano lightly playing chords from the top to the bottom of the keyboard with the cello and clarinet conversing above this gently lapping accompaniment.The ending was of great beauty with all three playing as one as Beethoven whispers his final few notes.There was such joy in the finale where the players competed with each other in a series of stimulating variations.A virtuoso pianistic variation followed by solo cello,and clarinet.A syncopated variation where they had such fun trying to catch each other out before the tongue in cheek final pages where they came together with impish abandon.A trio that plays as one is a rare treat with music making created by players looking and listening to each other rather than being tied to the score.

L.van Beethoven Sonata for Cello and Piano No.5 in D-major, Op.102 No.2 Allegro con brio – Adagio con molto sentimento d’affetto -Attacca – Allegro – Allegro Fugato

The two sonatas op.102 were composed between May and December 1815 During the period 1812 to 1817 Beethoven, ailing and overcome by all sorts of difficulties, experienced a period of literal and figurative silence as his deafness became overwhelmingly profound and his productivity diminished.Following seven years after the A Major Sonata n.3 ,the complexity of their composition and their visionary character marks (which they share with the subsequently completed piano sonata op 101 ) the start of Beethoven’s ‘third period’A critic of the time said:’They elicit the most unexpected and unusual reactions, not only by their form but by the use of the piano as well…We have never been able to warm up to the two sonatas; but these compositions are perhaps a necessary link in the chain of Beethoven’s works in order to lead us there where the steady hand of the maestro wanted to lead us.’

Beethoven’s last cello sonata was played as equal partners with the cello and piano in furious exchanges of great rhythmic drive followed by contrasting melodic passages of searing beauty.There was great clarity from the piano contrasting with the sumptuous velvety sounds from the cello.The Adagio was a continuous flow of great depth and vision played as the composer himself asks:con molto sentimento d’affetto.Leading to the gentle suggestion of the fugue from the cello taken up immediately by the piano in a musical puzzle that Beethoven like Bach was to bring to a climax towards the end of his life .Beethoven of course with the mighty fugue of the Hammerklavier or Diabelli and Bach with the genial mathematics of the Art of fugue.A mastery that was to be shared towards the end of their lives and makes one wonder where it might have led them in an after life?Bach just got so far and stopped.Beethoven toyed with the fugue and the variation right to the end.In this final cello sonata the knotty twine of the fugue was played by both players with a clarity and intensity that was remarkable not only for its precision but for its inner energy and architectural shape

Hariet Wu obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Hariet was privileged to be under the tutelage of Anthony Pay, Michael Harris, and Mark O’brien during her time studying at RBC.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan. Hariet was invited to join Steven Barta’s clarinet workshop (professor of Peabody Conservatory & principal clarinet at Baltimore Symphony orchestra) and was awarded a full scholarship by Wayland University (TX, USA) to study music in clarinet performance prior to her studies in the UK. Hariet was invited to perform as a guest performer at the 2005 Birmingham Chamber Music Festival. She has been playing in the Moment Musical Chamber Orchestra (Taiwan) since 2006. Hariet has been an active music festival and concert organiser during her time in Taiwan. She is also an experienced music educator and researcher. Her Master’s research topic focused on the correlations between instrumental practice and the enhancement of neurophysiological, mental, and social enhancement. She is currently researching the topic of music psychology: the behavioural changes induced by musical training.

Melody Lin (Cello) is dedicated to the insightful, sensitive and enthusiastic performance of both solo and chamber music. She was awarded a fully-funded scholarship to attend Trinity Laban Conservatoire for an MA degree and has completed a funded Bachelor’s degree from the Royal College of Music. She has studied under internationally recognised musicians including Richard Lester, Michael Reynolds, and Ling-Yi Ouyang. Melody’s recent solo recitals include the Royal Society of Musicians, St-Martin-in-the-fields, Wolfson College of Cambridge University, St James’s Piccadilly and the London Cello Society “Go Cello!” opening concert. Melody has been awarded a joint winner at the Vera Kantrovich Competition. She was the winner of the Leonard Smith & Felicity Young Duo Competition in 2018. Her chamber projects include the Mellanie Piano Trio, supported by the Concordia Foundation and the Melart Duo, with pianist Artur Haftman, supported by the Polish Music Society and toured Poland in 2016.Melody was a member of the 2019 Southbank Sinfonia, and currently freelancing amongst professional orchestras, including Bournemouth Symphony and a trial position with The Hallé. She plays on a cello by the Klotz family from the late 18th century, generously supported by professor Derek Aviss.

Damir Durmanovic (Piano).As an internationally sought-after performer, Damir Durmanovic has performed in venues and festivals including the Wigmore Hall, Champs Hill Studios, YPF Festival Amsterdam, Wimbledon Music Festival, Renia Sofia Audotorium Madrid, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Derby Multifaith Center, Flusserei Flums, ‘Ballenlager’ Vaduz. He has won prizes in numerous international competitions including The Beethoven Intercollegiate Junior Competition in London, Adilia Alieva International Piano Competition in Geneva and Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition in Novi Sad.He has performed in masterclasses with Claudio Martinez-Mehner, Dmitri Bashkirov, Pascal Devoyon, Jacques Rouvier, Robert Levin, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Tatyana Sarkisova, and chamber ensembles such as the Emerson Quartet. Damir is also a scholar at the ‘Musikakademie Liechtestein’ and regularly participates in the courses organised by the academy.Damir began his studies at age of eight in his home country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Maja Azabagic before continuing his studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School where he studied with professor Marcel Baudet. In 2021 he released an album with the Ulysses Arts label.Damir is supported by the Keyboard Charitable Trust as well as the Talent Unlimited Scheme. He is a graduate from the Royal College of Music where he studied with Dmitri Alexeev.

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