Last week, on a rainy Thursday lunchtime (19th September) a crowd took refuge in a busy Wigmore Hall, ready for the performance of outstanding new ensemble: the London International Players.
The London International Players is an ensemble that features distinguished soloists and chamber musicians from all corners of the world, who have come together through a mutual love of chamber music and common musical ideals.
Their musical kinship clearly shone through in their Wigmore Hall debut, with a programme that was varied but balanced, perfectly showcasing the ensemble’s wide timbral potential.
They opened with Mozart’s Flute Quartet No.1 in D major K285. Artistic director and flautist Ana de la Vega captured the audience’s imagination as a soloist without preventing the rest of the ensemble from shining. Next came the first movement of Mahler’s Piano Quartet in A Minor, a work that Mahler began when he was just sixteen and never completed, and also the composer’s only purely instrumental chamber music.
Arnold Bax’s Trio Elegiac (1915) for Flute, Viola and Harp, is an unusual but effective combination which was written just after Debussy’s 1915 trio for the same instruments. The piece has strong Celtic influences, which were beautifully captured in harpist Martino Panizza’s shimmering arpeggios. Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No.1 in D minor Op. 49 is recognised as one of his greatest works, and made an effective finale, lead by Irina Botan’s masterful piano playing.
With a cry of “bravo!” the very moment the piece finished, followed by rapturous applause, the debut was deemed a success. The exceptional talents of the individual players working seamlessly as an ensemble is a recipe for chamber music at its finest.
Further to this electrifying debut at Wigmore Hall, the London International Players look forward to their Cadogan Hall debut on the 8th November, as well as a St John’s Smith Square residency on 11th June, 27th June and 8th July 2014, amongst scheduled European dates in Berlin and Belgium and debut disc release in 2014.
For more information, see the London International Players’ website.