Lawson Trio at Portsmouth Central Library

A Fistful of Spookies

Making a decent fist of it with the Spookies at The Ashcroft in Fareham

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Those who were hearing music by David Knotts for the first time can now add his name to the list of living composers who know how to communicate at an emotional level.

His The Long Way Home, commissioned and championed by the Lawson Trio and inspired by a poem by Sylvia Townsend Warner, evokes the poignancy of time passing.

It combines immediacy with a sense of organic growth and was played with super-fine subtlety of feeling, ending enigmatically with the merest shimmer – or was it a shiver? - of a violin.

This final concert in the university-sponsored Music in the Round season maintained the previous high level.

The Lawson Trio achieved the proper blend of unanimity and a sense of individuals striking sparks off each other in trios by Mozart and Debussy. In the Frenchman’s piece, written when he was 18, there was the feeling of a youth in love with the idea of being in love.

The programme ended with Brahms’s late revision of his early Op 8 trio, and here the players powerfully caught the special mixture of youthful bravura and mature concentration.

MIKE ALLEN

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