Nordic Waves might sound more like the name of a deodorant, but it proved the ideal title for this delightful programme of chamber music from Northern Europe,
Despite the musical connotation, there was still a parallel in that the programme here, in terms of repertoire, exhibited a real freshness and crispness, something similarly associated with northern climes.
Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron perfectly captured the simple wistfulness of Grieg’s Solveig’s Song in its transcription for violin and piano, while Daniel King Smith gave a compelling reading of Sibelius’s Five Pieces for Piano – not a genre usually associated with the Finnish composer.
Glinka’s attractively-written Trio Pathétique contrasted well with Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel, where cellist Jane Pirie’s warm tone made as especially telling contribution.
The undoubted highlight was Gade’s Piano Trio in F, given a scintillating performance by all three players, with its bravura writing and tuneful melodies.
The recital could well have finished here, but the final item, Peter Dyson’s arrangement of the popular sea shanty Lowlands Away, deliberately pointed in the direction of the next concert, Atlantic Connections, in Largeron’s three-recital series charting a musical voyage through northern Europe.
Largeron acknowledged the support of Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University, and it was indeed a real pleasure to see such a good number of his fellow-students among the large audience.
PHILIP R BUTTALL