Cologne Piano Trio – Press

Cologne Piano Trio


Kölner Stadtanzeiger, November 3rd 2005

A concert of perfect unity

Frens Castle hosts the annual highlight of the Erft County Musical Cycle's castle tour through the local area
by Claudia Valder-Knechtges

Bergheim-Quadrath-Ichendorf. From its very beginning the Erft County Musical Cycle has been welcome on Frens Castle. In fact, at the time Baroness Olga von Abercron gave an important impulse to give reality to that which had only been an idea. Hans-Joseph Lang reminded the audience of this fact in the little thanksgiving speech, which he addressed to the hostess after the concert.

The homely atmosphere of the evening was due to the fact that the artistic director of the Cycle, Günter Ludwig, was also part of the music itself: together with the Cologne Piano Trio, he added to his longstanding merits an outstandingly successful performance. For some time Ludwig has been a member of this ensemble, which has been internationally famous for twenty years. Together with Walter Schreiber (violin) and Joanna Sachryn (cello), he produced a concert which gave the impression of a perfect unity. The spirited beginning was Beethoven’s “Geistertrio”, op. 71,1.

The trio’s overwhelming sound, charged with tension, filled the hall with music to the last corner. The “spectral” Largo, especially, made the audience listen breathlessly.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio, composed in memory of a friend and first performed in 1944, got under the listeners’ skins. In the great Russian composer’s œuvre, generally permeated by pain and conflicts, it presents an especially tragic and deeply moving piece. The young Polish celloist and the experienced violinist played as an organic team: they marked beautiful accents in the strings, while Günter Ludwig impressively and vigorously filled the leading part of the piano.

After the interval, the audience was enchanted by Brahms’ Trio in B major, op. 8. Although the lyrical moments got their fair share, the piano player’s vigorous and powerful grasp clearly dominated the performance. In sum, this was a masterful concert, a performance full of life, where Günter Ludwig once again demonstrated his class.

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