Beginning with a piece from their homeland, Anzoletti’s A major Trio opens with a beautifully sonorous solo from Severi on cello, and one cannot help but feel the dark wood finish on his instrument enriches the sound. Playing unobtrusively for the most part, pianist Battalion enjoys moments of glory, the strings backing off in dynamics and force. Severi plays with such energy that the low notes of his melodies positively thunder through the floorboards. Moments of violin and cello unison are rendered remarkable and beautiful when surrounded by complex romantic harmony, in a beautiful duet of timbres. Anzoletti indulges in richly Romantic swathes of harmony, the piano pleasantly decorated with trills and Defant’s violin rising up above with ecstatic melodies. As always, the cello in high register is yearning, almost crying out in sweet agony and makes the heart ache for something unknown. This trio embodies passion and it exudes from every note.
A far more ‘moody’ work is Brahms’ Piano Quartet in C minor, for which Shorrocks on viola joins the trio, the slow introduction punctuated by forceful piano chords, the movement beginning properly about a minute in with pacy rhythm. A passage of imitation between the instruments expands the viola melody outwards, and precedes the amorous love song that is to begin with Battarino’s piano, Severi swaying his cello during his empty bars. The piece centres around a jubilant middle section of exuberant bowing progressing to impassioned descending melodic ideas.
Elements of folk tradition abound in the Scherzo in a conversation between the violin and the accompaniment. Short and humorous, Brahms writes rhythmic vitality into the piano part with offbeat accents, his repeated note motif returning in all the instruments providing unity to the movement. The Scherzo finishes in a fantastic fanfare, concluding with a ‘meaty’ piano chord.
The Andante is a peaceful interlude, Severi’s lyrical cello solo played with warmth and feeling; the air is saturated in emotion. Where the ArtTre’s Scherzo was enthusiastic their Andante is delicate and poised, finishing with gentle pizzicato violin arpeggios.
Battarino on piano is more of a feature of the 4th movement, creating much of the momentum during the interplay between the strings. Moments of calm decorated by descending scalic ideas on the piano are a contrast to the busier sections of more complex texture. The perfect cadence is a triumphant end to the piece. Playing the last cadence triumphantly, the group end with bows aloft and stand up to bow with hands placed in chests.