Kathy Selby leads violinist Susie Park and cellist Timo-Veikko Valve in concert devoted to Beethoven’s chamber music

The Advertiser
May 19, 2014
by Stephen Whittington

Elder Hall, Sunday May 18

The turbulent life of Beethoven, his truculent personality, his triumph over adversity — it all contributed to his mythical status as the ultimate romantic Artist with a capital ‘A’.

Despite his near-divine status, concerts devoted exclusively to his chamber music are not all that common.

Kathy Selby put together an interesting mixture of duos and trios for this program, in which she was joined by two of her many talented friends, violinist Susie Park, and cellist Timo-Veikko Valve.

Of the works performed, only one was probably familiar to everyone in the audience, the much-loved Spring Sonata for violin and piano. A lovely partnership unfolded in the dialogue between Selby and Park, as they delved into the beauties and mercurial mood changes of this work.

The Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 102 is less familiar, but is a work of remarkable richness and vitality, and there is no one better able to reveal the greatness of it than Valve.

He has an unerring sense of phrasing, both taut and yet flexible, enabling him to explore the expressive depths of the music without losing sight of the bigger picture.

He was ably partnered by Selby, and together they shaped a performance of expressive intensity and energy.

Two trios completed the program, an early trio, none too distinguished except for the fact that it is by the person who would become the great Beethoven, and the marvellous Trio Op. 70, which deserves to be better known.

Selby was the driving force behind this performance, but she did it through the vitality and delicacy of her playing rather than through brute force. Park and Valve were able to match her in every respect in a performance that was a delight from beginning to end.

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