Ensemble Trivium’s Purely Mozart concert was a journey into Mozart’s life and lasting influence. Held in heritage-listed Old Government House, with its oak-panelled doors, high ceilings and chandeliers, this intimate chamber concert was fit to welcome in the weekend.
Ensemble Trivium is a collective of artists, performing chamber music centred around the flute. The ensemble on Friday featured flautist Monika Koerner, violinist Anne Horton, violist Yoko Okayasu and cellist Trish O’Brien. The ensemble performs with a strong sensitivity to one another and to chamber music.
The program featured four flute quartets from Mozart’s early career, accompanied by reading of his letters. The letters added humour, drama and poetry, providing insight into Mozart’s character as a young man. His letters told of his first loves, first compositions and his father’s great expectations.
To open, the ensemble performed Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major KV 285. The first movement, allegro, was bright and lively, with the melody fluttering in and out. For the slower adagio movement, the strings played soft pizzicato, with flautist Monika Koerner taking the lead. Then, in rondeau/allegretto, the initial theme returned, weaving between the flute and strings.
Next was Mozart’s Quartet in G Major KV 285a. Andante was slow and stately, gently rising and falling in volume, with the theme taking turns with each instrument. Tempo di menuetto had a minuet or slow dance-like feel, shifting between light and dark moods.
In Mozart’s Quartet in C Major KV Anh. 171 (285b), the ensemble performed allegro with full, rich sound, attentive to each other. In Theme and variations, cellist Trish O’Brien took the theme with gusto. The variations wove across the ensemble, with violist Yoko Okayasu and cellist O’Brien providing a low, rippling undertone. The piece then built with brisk melodies to a strong finish.
To close, the ensemble performed Mozart’s Quartet in A Major KV 298. Theme-andante and variations opened with a solo flute melody and gentle strings in the background. Koerner displayed mastery of the flute in the long, breathless passages and complex rhythms. Violinist Anne Horton then took the lead. In menuetto, the strings and flute moved together, before the flute took the melody. Rondieaoux, according to Mozart’s tempo instructions, is to be ‘played not too fast, not too slow, but with great elegance and expression’ and Ensemble Trivium certainly achieved this.
In all, an enjoyable concert of chamber music, letters and poetry, in a relaxed, cosy setting. Afterwards nibbles and drinks were provided in the drawing room, with a chance to meet the artists.