- Chamber Music
'The sheer technical brilliance, musicianship and enthusiasm of these musicians totally charmed.'
Clarinettist Carol McGonnell, violinist Elizabeth Cooney and pianist Finghin Collins transformed what promised to be a distinctly non-festive, rather high-brow, unpopular programme into a musical experience that absolutely delighted the large attendance at Kinsale Arts Week.
The sheer technical brilliance, musicianship and enthusiasm of these musicians totally charmed.
I feared that Finghin Collins' big tone might overpower Elizabeth Cooney's 'Soldier's Violin' but the balance was perfect, and, with clarinet commenting on her brilliant staccato and his perfectly judged accompanying, this was electrifying. Similarly, the grotesquery of the piano in the final movement was superb.
Cooney's tone reminds me of the playing of Isaac Stern and other great international artists, and her playing in Ravel's Habanera and Stravinsky's Suite Italienne was not just technically perfect ; it had real musical understanding also.
McGonnell's involvement in every note, every phrase, is intense, physical, total, and beautiful. Khachaturian's Trio gave her marvellous scope for expressive, often virtuosic playing. Her discovery and the trio's performance of Schoenfield's brilliantly exciting, Klezmer-style Trio was the icing on a musical cake that is well worth sampling.