BRAHMS vs TCHAIKOVSKY
THE ICKNIELD TRIO
Saturday 24th September 2022, 7.30pm,
St. Botolph’s Church, TRUNCH
Concert dedicated to Roy Abrams (1929 – 2019), who started Trunch Concerts in 1997
The Icknield Trio is delighted to be returning to Trunch with two stunning nineteenth-century works by two famous opponents, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A minor, Op. 50 (1882) is subtitled “In memory of a great artist”. With its wonderful melodies, and effulgent emotionality, it is exactly what we would want Tchaikovsky to compose. The trio reflects life in the change of grief and joy, sadness and triumph. That is why this music is so appropriate for the concert dedicated to Roy Abrams. A truly one-of-a-kind work (the only work Tchaikovsky ever wrote for the combination of piano, violin, and cello), the piano trio occupies its own unique niche apart from the standard repertoire of 19th century European trios.
Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87, composed also in 1882 (when Brahms was forty-nine), is a very joyful work, full of bright human feelings and inspiration from nature. It was the time when teenage-looking Brahms finally embraced his senior age and even suddenly appeared with a very large greyish beard… The composer wrote to his publisher: “You have not yet had such a beautiful trio from me and very likely have not published its equal in the last ten years!”
The Icknield Trio: Arwen Newbandn (violin), Anna Le Hair (piano) and Sarah Boxall (cello).
Johannes Brahms (1833 -1897) and Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) were born on the same day, May 7th, both became world famous. That coincidence didn’t help endear Brahms or his music to Tchaikovsky, who criticised Brahms a lot!
In the 1870s, Tchaikovsky, in his mid-30s, was still a relatively little-known composer. Brahms at the time already received international recognition as a major figure in the world of music, almost like the new musical messiah. Tchaikovsky wrote in his diary: “It angers me that this conceited mediocrity is regarded as a genius”. The quotes could fill a book. Some of his dislike seems to be envy of Brahms’ success. “Brahms is a celebrity; I’m a nobody. And yet, without false modesty, I tell you that I consider myself superior to Brahms”.
Brahms and Tchaikovsky seem so different from each other, but they are actually pretty close in so many ways. And their music is great. So, the concert will be a kind of musical competition between two great composers, with two wonderful (and difficult to perform) trios.
Joseph Haydn (1832-1809) – Hob. XV no. 9
Johannes Brahms (1833 -1897) – Piano Trio No.2, Op.87
Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) – Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50
From small beginnings with musical friends and playing three concerts a year, TRUNCH CONCERTS became an important part of cultural life in North Norfolk. Thanks to Roy, since 1998 the concerts have raised about £40,000 towards restoration of the church. Roy Abrams continued to be involved in TRUNCH CONCERTS for 22 years until his death in December 2020. He contributed his ideas, knowledge, humour and his encouraging support. Roy did his famous conclusions for almost all the TRUNCH CONCERTS, the last time being in August 2019. He was a lovely, genuine, talented person and knew how to make the most of life.
Roy Abrams (1929 – 2019)
The concert took place in St. Botolph’s Church in Trunch. With a licensed bar.
The number of places – limited. Pre-booking only. Tickets: £15 – adult, £7 – children.
Tickets were available by phone 01692 402 624 or at The Crown at Trunch – cash only (Front Street, Trunch, North Walsham NR28 0AH).
All proceeds are donated to Trunch and Swafield Church restoration projects.