Review: Cropper Welsh Roscoe Trio, Third Floor Arts Centre, Portsmouth

The Darkness. Picture by

Simon Emmett

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And so Portsmouth Chamber Music bids farewell to the Third Floor, to begin a new life this autumn in the Guildhall’s Harlequin Room.

Let’s hope the Steinway grand piano will move with the concerts so that audiences can continue to appreciate players of Martin Roscoe’s supreme calibre.

Violinist Peter Cropper, founder of the Music in the Round organisation that still forms the bedrock of the university-sponsored chamber series, will certainly relish the Harlequin’s more sympathetic acoustic.

As it happens, he was in strong enough form here in music by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms, bringing trenchancy to the playing of a trio that oozes both energy and smiling wit.

Cropper’s sound is not always the most beautiful, but it was when it needed to be in Schubert’s haunting Notturno, where simplicity of phrasing conjured emotional intensity.

And the link was compellingly made between Haydn and early yet characteristic Beethoven, with cellist Moray Welsh also shining.