Music review: Trio Nielson
Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review: Trio Nielson at The Hub, reviewed by Christopher Lambton
Not many people would think of combining two guitars and a clarinet to form a trio. The repertoire written for such a combination must be vanishingly tiny. Trio Nielsen presumably spend most of their time writing and arranging, just to have something to play.
But the result is rather charming. An arrangement is justified if it throws new light on a piece. Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances sound brilliant on the piano but clarinet and solo guitar evoke something of the shepherd’s pipe and cimbalom that Bartok may have come across when collecting the material. The same combination worked well for Poulenc’s wispy Mouvements Perpétuels and the flamenco-inspired Entr’acte by Ibert. Fernando Sor’s Divertissements were written for two guitars and prompted one member of the audience to sigh “Oh, lovely!” at the end.
The hot night made the clarinettist go pink and the humidity played havoc with the guitar tuning. Live Music Now sends groups such as this to hospitals, care homes and schools. Trio Nielsen can cover a large repertoire with their unusual combination of instruments, even if an hour is about as much as you want to hear in one sitting. They are the only ensemble so far in this series to offer a Scottish tune – “Will ye go, lassie, go” – as a much-appreciated finale.
Originally published in The Scotsman