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category louth | arts and media | news report author Monday February 04, 2008 11:33author by Sean Crudden - imperoauthor email sean.crudden at iol dot ieauthor address Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth.author phone 087 9739945 Report this post to the editors

An Outstanding Performance

The audience in Holy Trinity Heritage Centre, Carlingford, yesterday contributed to immensely to a finely wrought performance by Ensemble Avalon. There was no attention deficit and no disconcerting applause at the end of individual movements. Applause was reserved for the end of each of the four sonatas performed. In a very symmetrical program each of the sonatas had three movements. There was no rocking in the aisles but the applause was appreciative and there was a general air of satisfaction around the Heritge Centre as the performance progressed. The cost of a ticket for this concert was €15.
From left: Michael, Ioana and Gerald.
From left: Michael, Ioana and Gerald.

Ensemble Avalon performed a varied and comprehensive program of music in Holy Trinity Heritage Centre, Carlingford, Co Louth, starting at 4.00 p.m. on Sunday 3 February 2008. It appears from the written program that the concert was part of a tour organised by Music Network. Unfortunately I have not to hand the details of other venues which were visited or which are to be visited as part of the tour. But anyone interested in music should definitely be on the look-out for Ensemble Avalon.

The outfit consists of three players; Ioana Petcu-Colan (violin), Gerald Peregrine (cello) and Michael McHale (piano).

Program

Joseph Haydn, Piano Trio, (Hob: XV30 in e flat major)

Arnold Edward Trevor Bax, Piano Trio, B flat major.

Interval

Ludwig van Beethoven, "Ghost" Trio in D major, Op. 70 No 1

Leonard Bernstein, Piano Trio, Op. 2 (1937)

The standard of performance throughout was high or very high.

In the first half of the concert Ioana impressed with quiet, relaxed and competent leadership. The tone of her violin is rich and slightly dead-pan. She appears to be an introspective player but she projects the music very effectively.

The ensemble was well knitted together and like careful builders the players showed great, unfussy awareness and concentration and took great pains to make sure all the pieces fitted together neatly and correctly.

I thought the overall speed was not slow but I think it was on the deliberate side of fast. The music had time to unfold in a meaningful way and all three players especially, Ioana and Michael looked "comfortable on the ball." Like good golfers they played well "within themselves."

When I was young around Ardee the highest compliment which could be paid to the player of an instrument (like the accordion, for instance) was, "He can make it talk!"

In the second half of the concert I became more aware of Michael McHale’s piano playing. He has snap. But that belies the fact that he has sweetness and roundness of tone and exhibits outstanding musical thinking and strategy. He definitely is an excellent team player, too. He has the ability in coolness to plan and execute and create very true and authentic musical effect. I was not aware of the technicalities of his playing but I was aware of the fact that he was producing a transparent, translucent, beautiful account of the music particularly in the Beethoven. In a true musical sense, therefore, my conclusion is that he can make the piano talk.

Gerald Peregrine on the cello appeared to be working harder than his companions. He has a deft touch, sweet tone, a smart athletic style and great concentration.

Related Link: http://www.ensembleavalon.net
author by Sean Crudden - imperopublication date Sat Jan 31, 2009 13:18author email sean at impero dot iol dot ieauthor address Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth.author phone 087 9739945Report this post to the editors

Rain, mud, dripping trees outside. Coffee, wine, warmth, music inside and the whisper of rain falling on the roof. Anaverna is about 10 km north of Dundalk and it is only about 5 km from my house in Jenkinstown. Last night was my second visit to the venue and the impressions formed on my first visit were reinforced (see link). Anyway I am delighted to have such an excellent venue close to home.

Ensemble Avalon were in great form and gave a very satisfying performance of a varied and well-balanced program of music.

Program

Ludwig van Beethoven. Trio in C Minor Op. 1 No. 3

Joaquin Turina. Trio No. 1 in D Major Op. 35

INTERVAL

Ronan Guilfoyle. A Little Blues

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Trio in D Minor Op. 49

I had a great chat with John Redihan before the performance started, Silvia Puyane sat beside me, I said "hello" to each of the members of Avalon before I left for home. I thought I got great value for €18 admission and a contribution of €2 to Simon in exchange for a cup of coffee in a room off the concert "hall" with the scent of a turf fire in my nostrils.

I think last night's concert formed part of a "tour" by Ensemble Avalon organised by Music Network. Readers of indymedia who might be interested in catching Avalon should browse Music Network's web-site or Avalon's own site.

Incidentally I think the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn's birthday occurs around now.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/89589
 
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