Five-star review in the Guardian for Trio Zimmermann concert in Edinburgh featuring Antoine Tamestit
Published: 17 August 2012
As part of Trio Zimmerann, his string trio with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann and cellist Christian Poltéra, Antoine Tamestit performed a recital at the Edinburgh International Festival this week. The concert received a five-star review from TIm Ashley writing in the Guardian.
Here's the review in full:
"The Trio Zimmermann was founded in 2007 by the violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann. Its other members are viola player Antoine Tamestit and cellist Christian Poltéra; all three have important and distinguished solo careers. As a trio, however, they have caused something of a stir of late, largely because their musicianship is exceptional, but also, one suspects, due to the fact that they have refocused attention on the string trio as a genre.
The programme for their Edinburgh concert consisted of Schubert's B Flat Trio D471, the Schoenberg Trio and Mozart's Divertimento in E Flat K563. The last two rank among the great works for chamber ensemble. The Schubert, in contrast, is unfinished and unsatisfying, a single-movement fragment with a low-key close that leaves the emotions it rouses awkwardly unresolved. A reiterated rhythmic monotone, shuttled from player to player, undermines its surface elegance. The performance was full of tension and disquieting ambiguities.
Schoenberg's late, unsparing String Trio, written during his recovery from a heart attack, wrestles with intimations of mortality in music that suggests the alternation of profound terror with exhausted calm, all the while pushing the players to their technical and expressive limits. It would be hard to imagine the piece being better done or to find its emotional world explored with more remorseless exactitude.
Turning from it to Mozart was almost a relief. Operatic in its range and scope, the Divertimento is a spacious, beguiling work that combines beauty and logic in ways that are breathtaking. As with so many string trios, however, it gives the performers nowhere to hide, and the slightest slip can be perilous. The Zimmermanns played it as if it were the easiest thing in the world."