Martha Argerich, Misha Maisky and Janine Jansen at the Barbican
This was one of the highlights of the Barbican presents season and it not only kept up but exceeded the expectations. Maisky and Argerich have been long term partners on stage and recordings and we all knew how well they worked together. But how well the young Janise Jansen would fit the team was the unknown bit here. But hell, we all known how Martha leads her chamber music making bringing out the best from each of her partners.
The programme was built around Martha plus the others: a cello sonata, a violin sonata and two trios, so she was always on the stage being the link between the music.
Beethoven cello Sonata No 2 was simply delicious. The Argerich-Maisky duo has recorded these sonatas and played them all around the world many times during more than 25 years. And they still sound fresh. You can still listen how Argerich waits for Maisky and how she pulls him into her fierceness music making.
Then we got the full trio to play Shostakovich Piano Trio No 2. This is a perfect work to have someone like Argerich at command. She dragged the team with the aggressiveness the piece demands but keeping perfect accuracy. Maisky and Jansen caught up with this while having their own beautiful sound.
The second half opened with Schumann Violin Sonata No 1 in A minor, a very neglected work that I really adore. It was time for Jansen to show her best in this poetic but extremely grieving music. The playing parts here were a little bit more contrasting than in the Beethoven sonata but still sublime.
The concert ended (despite a Schumann encore) with the light and happy Mendelssohn first trio.