CLASSICAL MUSIC: Frankl/Pauk/Kirshbaum; Wigmore Hall, London

It was Fritz Kreisler who at the height of his career in 1910 remarked: "Ensemble playing is a luxury for which I now have very little time. And so I look forward to every summer, when Ysaye, Thibaud, Casals, Fogno and I meet in Paris. Ysaye and I alternate in playing the viola, but the queer thing about it is that we all want to play second violin."

The team of Peter Frankl, (piano), Gyorgy Pauk (violin) and Ralph Kirshbaum (cello) will not have had to fight over who played second fiddle but if the understanding of Kreisler's remark is that chamber music allows egos to be gracefully laid aside, 25 years of togetherness by Frankl, Pauk and Kirshbaum shows an astonishing welding of friendship and music-making. And a hall such as the Wigmore, where currently the trio are celebrating their anniversary, provides a perfect setting. The lucky (and large) audiences turning out for these concerts can really have felt they were eavesdropping on an evening's chamber music rather than attending anything more formal. Just as chamber music should be.

The three concerts are a model of musically intelligent planning. It is the trio's 25th anniversary and a jaunt through the great piano trios - from Haydn to today - might have been expected or, indeed, the cashing in on the composer anniversary train (after all, Schubert and Mendelssohn wrote some of the greatest trios). But no. The Frankl/ Pauk/ Kirshbaum trio have an eye (and an ear) not only to the next 25 years of trio playing but how the present relates to the past. Each concert has resourcefully contained a contemporary work - in last Tuesday's concert, a violin sonata by the Hungarian composer Ivan Erod and, in last Saturday's, one of the century's most important works for cello, the immensely demanding sonata by Elliott Carter. (On Wednesday, a newly commissioned trio from James MacMillan will be heard).

But what has made the first two concerts so unusual has been the placing of Brahms (in triumphant anniversary mode) at the beginning of each programme - his three trios (Op 8, 87 and 101) - and Beethoven's three late trios (Op 70 nos 1 & 2, Op 97) at the end, which has provided the frame for these concerts. Even against works from this century, it's the newness of Brahms that continues to amaze. Nothing that Erod could dream up could compete with the astonishing originality of Brahms' nervy Op 87 Scherzo and as for Elliott Carter's famed metric modulation, Brahms was at it at least 50 years earlier.

The Frankl/ Paul/ Kirshbaum trio has no snappy title because their names say it all. The match of tone between Pauk and Kirshbaum is extraordinary - in the same register it's not always easy to distinguish between the two. And Frankl, on full stick, never drowned or threatened to drown. This is a trio whose strength lies in understatement. A more moving and elegant performance of Beethoven's "Archduke" trio, such well-tempered grandeur, would be hard to find. Kreisler was right, luxury indeed.

The final concert in the series is Wed, 7.30pm (0171-935 2141)

Annette Morreau

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week