Our last concert for 2010 – 2011 took place on Saturday 14 May.  Those who attended the concert would definitely agree with me when I say that it was a splendid evening and a perfect finish to our season.

Our house was completely packed for this event; every single chair was taken. I was pleased that so many people wanted to come and listen to Colin and Krzysztof and they certainly did not disappoint us.

The theme of the evening was Beethoven who has been a popular composer at Breinton. 

If you remember, violinist Tom Gould and pianist Alasdair Beatson played the Kreutzer Sonata, cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Alexei Grynyuk played four of his Sonatas for cello and piano last year, and most of the pianists who came to us also included a Beethoven Sonata in their programmes.

 

The Sonatas played this evening were No. 3, No. 8 and No. 9 Kreutzer.

Kreutzer, the most well-known of all Beethoven sonatas, is uniquely long, lasting nearly forty minutes.  Colin and Krzysztof placed this sonata in the second half, and it was the climax of the evening.  It was astonishing; the moment Krzysztof started the slow violin introductory section, all of us were quickly and deeply engaged in their performance.  The first movement, in Adagio '“ Presto '“ Adagio form, was gorgeous.   They played boldly, expressively and at the same time very sensitively; we enjoyed their matured and polished sounds.  The beautiful second movement, which was played in Andante, was followed by the most powerful third movement.   With 6/8 rhythm, it was fast, sharp and energetic.  Colin and Krzysztof kept great tempo, and they worked all the way through in perfect collaboration and with momentum.  From where I was sitting, I could see Krzysztof"s left hand very well; I thoroughly enjoyed observing his mastery finger works while listening to this spectacular music.

Sonatas No. 3 and No. 8 are less known, as they do not have titles such as Kreutzer or Spring, but I think they should be '“ they are wonderful.   I was least familiar with the No. 3 sonata but I wonder how I have not encountered this graceful sonata until now? I should get a recording of the complete Beethoven violin/piano sonatas.  It would be very interesting to listen to them all and compare. The first movement of Sonata No. 3 had magnificent passages, they flowed graciously and Colin demonstrated his brilliant pianism. The slow second movement was utterly beautiful '“ the two instruments working together and supporting each other to create such rich sounds.  The final movement was a cheerful Rondo, which we all enjoyed.   The rousing ending was fantastic too.

Sonata No. 8 was jolly and delightful.  I particularly liked the joyful beginning of the first movement, where the piano and violin played the same melody at a fast pace. The second movement was so lyrical and melodious, which lead me to such a state of pleasure.  Krzysztof"s violin was heavenly to my ears.

Every sonata had a different feel and characteristics and the duo expressed them extremely well.  They are planning to carry on performing all Beethoven Sonatas at different venues; I would be very curious to listen to them all!

When everything has finished, more than a few members came to me and told me that they had not wanted the concert to come to an end.  Needless to say, I felt the same.  My friend John said it was the best violin and piano recital he had ever been to, and he has been to hundreds of concerts in his life (I am not exaggerating)!  From such remarks, you can imagine what great musicians Colin and Krzysztof are; I am firmly convinced that the concert was an absolute success.

Krzysztof Smietana

Krzysztof Smietana was born in Poland and studied at the Cracow Academy of Music, later moving to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he himself now teaches. He won most of the national awards in Poland and has been a prize-winner in several major international violin competitions.

"'¦ a violinist with robust sound, played with empathy, and character'¦one was struck by how expressively and vividly Smietana was able to mould his sound'¦and produce his tone from every fibre of his body."  The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Read more.

Colin Stone

Winner of the 1986 Royal Overseas League Piano competition, Colin Stone enjoys the successful career predicted for him by Sir Charles Groves, as a solo pianist and as a member of the London Mozart Trio.

Colin combines his busy career as a pianist with his work as a professor of piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Northern College of Music, and as artistic director of the LMT Chamber Ensemble. Members of the Ensemble, which includes the London Mozart Trio, perform regularly at major London venues, notably Wigmore Hall. The Ensemble also gives concerts and recitals throughout the UK and abroad.    Read more.