Trio Palladio. St George’s Hall, Bristol.

Latvian classical trio. The best acoustics in the City.

A cellist, a violinist and pianist walk into a concert hall. They play Beethoven & Mendelssohn. In the most beautiful venue with the best sound you could find. The result? Beauty. And emotion. And peace. It was wonderful. Simply wonderful.

I had picked up the ticket for this in the flash sale, making in less than a tenner to go. That’s about the cost of a cinema ticket. Or a round of drinks. I was slightly late (thanks , First Bus) and so missed the first part of the first piano trio. Nae bother, I could hear it through the door we waited at. As it wasn’t sold out I was directed to the front row, rather than my third row seat, by the usher and who was I to complain at that? The volunteers who help keep St George’s running deserve a compliment here, they are always very welcoming and tonight was no exception. I didn’t grow up with classical music, I have been to only a few classical concerts before, but St George’s is far from stuffy. It is an open and inviting space, they want everyone to come in and listen. So, Bristol, if you spot a concert on at St George’s on a night you have no plans, go. Whatever it is. Try something. I can recommend going on voyages of sonic discovery.

The opening piece was Beethoven, a piano trio. The two parts I heard played in the hall were brilliant. The warmth and passion with which the three musicians played with was evident throughout and I responded emotionally. The second piece, Plainscapes by a Latvian composer, Vasks, was beautifully moving. I found myself leaning in, straining to get even closer to the deep warmth of the sounds of the cello and violin. I was in tears. Floods and floods of tears. My glasses became covered in mascara and salt. The music opened up the door marked grief that I have been holding closed all week and allowed the emotions to come out. Catharsis achieved.

I needed the interval to compose myself. When they came back they played another modern piece, Between Tides, by Takemitsu which felt like waves of emotion and sound ebbing and flowing gently back and forth. It was lovely, and with each crescendo of wave crashing I felt the tears prick again. I was transfixed watching the passion and emotion with which each of the three master musicians played. They ended with another piano trio, this time from Mendelsson which had power and depth.

It was masterful and it was wonderful and despite the wells of emotion pouring out of me I felt peaceful at the end. There was resolution and gentility.

I shall keep my eyes and ears peeled for more opportunities like this at St George’s. It truly is one of Bristol’s cultural gems.

Thank you Trio Palladio for opening my ears to both baroque chamber music and modern composers. I would very much like to hear more of both.

40+3. The spirit of 40 gigs veers into new diections, yet again.



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