Toad Lane Concerts: The Silja Piano Trio

Date published: 30 June 2024

Chamber music usually refers to small groups of instruments or voices with one musician per part, where it could be said that audiences are privileged flies on the wall to a deep conversation. This was the case in the marvellous acoustic of St Mary in the Baum on Wednesday 26 June as three soloists from the Royal Northern College of Music, merged into one interpretation.

Violinist Rachel Stonham and cellist Cillian Hennessy are both Masters students with diverse experience in chamber ensembles and orchestras, recording, and contemporary works. Third year Hungarian pianist, Hanna Csermely, has already given successful solo recitals at Toad Lane Concerts.

These excellent soloists also had the ensemble qualities to produce great music together. ‘One for all and all for one’ is the essence of chamber music and these musicians had it in abundance.

It was wonderful to see gifted young performers exploring great music afresh.

Debussy’s early Piano Trio in G major, written when the composer was only 18 years old was full of contrast and interest.

Another early work, Brahms’s Adagio from Piano Trio in B major Op. 8 No. 1, was already a mature movement of symphonic proportions from the 20-year-old. In this revised version the broad strokes were handled by the trio with mature confidence.

Fauré’s famous romantic song, Après un Rêve (After the dream) was arranged by Cillian and formed a beautiful conclusion.

Cillian introduced the items in a genial fashion and expressed the trio’s thanks for being able to play together in such a fine acoustic. For the flies on the wall, this was not goodbye but au revoir.

The Queen’s Award-winning Toad Lane Concerts are every Wednesday at 12.30pm at St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6. No refreshments available. Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

To see details of forthcoming Toad Lane Concerts, click here.

Dr Joe Dawson

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