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Ensemble Avalon in Carlingford
arts and media |
Monday February 04, 2008 11:33 by Sean Crudden - impero sean.crudden at iol dot ie Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth. 087 9739945
An Outstanding Performance
The audience in Holy Trinity Heritage Centre, Carlingford, yesterday contributed to immensely to a finely wrought performance by Ensemble Avalon. There was no attention deficit and no disconcerting applause at the end of individual movements. Applause was reserved for the end of each of the four sonatas performed. In a very symmetrical program each of the sonatas had three movements. There was no rocking in the aisles but the applause was appreciative and there was a general air of satisfaction around the Heritge Centre as the performance progressed. The cost of a ticket for this concert was €15.
From left: Michael, Ioana and Gerald.
Ensemble Avalon performed a varied and comprehensive program of music in Holy Trinity Heritage Centre, Carlingford, Co Louth, starting at 4.00 p.m. on Sunday 3 February 2008. It appears from the written program that the concert was part of a tour organised by Music Network. Unfortunately I have not to hand the details of other venues which were visited or which are to be visited as part of the tour. But anyone interested in music should definitely be on the look-out for Ensemble Avalon.
The outfit consists of three players; Ioana Petcu-Colan (violin), Gerald Peregrine (cello) and Michael McHale (piano).
Joseph Haydn, Piano Trio, (Hob: XV30 in e flat major)
Arnold Edward Trevor Bax, Piano Trio, B flat major.
Ludwig van Beethoven, "Ghost" Trio in D major, Op. 70 No 1
Leonard Bernstein, Piano Trio, Op. 2 (1937)
The standard of performance throughout was high or very high.
In the first half of the concert Ioana impressed with quiet, relaxed and competent leadership. The tone of her violin is rich and slightly dead-pan. She appears to be an introspective player but she projects the music very effectively.
The ensemble was well knitted together and like careful builders the players showed great, unfussy awareness and concentration and took great pains to make sure all the pieces fitted together neatly and correctly.
I thought the overall speed was not slow but I think it was on the deliberate side of fast. The music had time to unfold in a meaningful way and all three players especially, Ioana and Michael looked "comfortable on the ball." Like good golfers they played well "within themselves."
When I was young around Ardee the highest compliment which could be paid to the player of an instrument (like the accordion, for instance) was, "He can make it talk!"
In the second half of the concert I became more aware of Michael McHale’s piano playing. He has snap. But that belies the fact that he has sweetness and roundness of tone and exhibits outstanding musical thinking and strategy. He definitely is an excellent team player, too. He has the ability in coolness to plan and execute and create very true and authentic musical effect. I was not aware of the technicalities of his playing but I was aware of the fact that he was producing a transparent, translucent, beautiful account of the music particularly in the Beethoven. In a true musical sense, therefore, my conclusion is that he can make the piano talk.
Gerald Peregrine on the cello appeared to be working harder than his companions. He has a deft touch, sweet tone, a smart athletic style and great concentration.