Seraphim Trio: Babies, Beethoven & A Midwinter Dream
In the last nine months, we’ve managed to have four babies between the three of us. Helen had twins in September, and Tim and I each welcomed new babies in the first half of February. These new arrivals join Helen’s two-year-old and my three-year-old to form our Cherubim Sextet! None of this was planned, but it has proved convenient: there were no howls of protests when someone suggested a Seraphim sabbatical for the first half of this year. So now we’re back together, rehearsing for the first time since Helen went on maternity leave in July, and remembering how a) difficult it is, and b) how much fun.
The fun lies in the conversation that is chamber music, and in our friendship, which feeds our music and is fed by it. And now the three of us have more in common than ever. The difficulty lies in re-entry: somehow my maternity break lasted longer than anticipated, and the first time I sat back down at the piano my hands didn’t say what I expected them to say. I could still feel the impulses in the fingers, but it was as though they were clothed in a second skin, or a clumsy pair of gloves. But a few performances later and they’re beginning to right themselves; more importantly – and I think we all feel this – there’s a nothing like a baby for giving you some perspective. Music is suddenly clearer for us than it’s ever been, and more valuable.
And what a great program to come back to, a combination of old and new! We’re always loved Mendelssohn, but this is our first foray into the C-minor trio. I’m not sure why we left it so long: there’s such a sense of artistic confidence emanating from every movement. We’re paired it with Beethoven’s glorious ‘Ghost’ Trio, a favourite work for years, which makes better sense every time we return to it. Benjamin Martin has devised two brilliant arrangements for us from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – I suspect we’ll get a lot of mileage out of the Scherzo as an encore in the future. And Sydney-based Alan Holley has written us a terrific new trio – a fascinating exploration of trio instrumentation and sonority. The program is underpinned by references to Shakespeare and Beethoven: two very good reasons to leave the babies at home for an evening, and reunite on the stage.
Saturday 16 June
7pm, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
Purchase tickets here.