Preview: The Kalore Trio at St Faith’s, Havant

There was a lot of the passion and ardour smouldering in the background of nineteenth-century classical music. So it is little wonder that the Kalore Trio has chosen pieces by Felix Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann for their debut performance.

The Trio’s very name is derived from the Italian word “calore” meaning warmth or heat. And there’ll be plenty of that when the Kalore Trio perform together for the first time at 3.00pm on Sunday 22 July at St Faith’s Church, Havant.

Renowned concert pianist Karen Kingsley, violinist Elizabeth Cox and ‘cellist Amanda Berry, make up the trio. All are top quality musicians in their own right. These ladies are hot stuff.

Karen Kingsley earned her diplomas at the Royal Academy of Music where she won several prizes. She has performed with most of the major orchestras in the Solent area and given piano recitals all over the UK. She’s a very experienced musician.

Amanda Berry and Elizabeth Cox both played in the Hampshire Youth Orchestra. They studied at Peter Symonds College before going to their respective music colleges in London. They also play in the Havant Chamber Orchestra and the Wessex Sinfonietta. Noted for her spirited playing style, Amanda is also the principal ’cellist with the Petersfield Orchestra.

The Kalore Trio will play Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No 2 Op 66 and Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio Op 17.

If tabloid journalists had been around in nineteenth-century Europe, they would have had a field day. For beneath the veneer of social respectability in Germany, Austria and Britain secret hanky-panky went on in abundance.

Like modern footballers’ wives and girlfriends or sexy celebs and their goings-on, the classical music stars of the Romantic age were having a whale of a time.

Here’s just some of the gossip of the time which would have sent the paparazzi into a feeding frenzy.

Handsome Johannes Brahms was madly in love with mother of seven Clara Schumann who was seventeen years older than he was. She was a virtuoso of the piano who gave concerts all over Europe and a pioneering composer too.

Despite being married to her husband Robert, Clara managed to have a two-year affair with the German composer Theodor Kirchner. But when it came to young Brahms she was no cougar. He would have gladly been her toy boy but she just admired his musical talent; end of story.

Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio Op 17 is often said to be her finest work; possibly her masterpiece. It is brim-full of tenderness, energy and creative originality. Clara wrote it in 1846 when she was carrying her fourth child. She was twenty-seven then and deeply devoted to her husband Robert. Some passages are intense and passionate. This was well before she met Brahms.

That’s not all. Married, father of five, Felix Mendelssohn fell head over heels in love with Jenny Lind, a stunningly good-looking soprano with a marvellous voice. She was known as the “Swedish Nightingale”. He wrote love letters begging her to elope to America with him. But level-headed Jenny turned him down. Instead, she ended up in the USA working for Phineas Taylor Barnum, a circus owner and showman who showered her with cash.

Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No 2 Op 66 was written in 1845, a year after the composer met Jenny Lind. He dedicated it to master fiddle player, Louis Spohr, the inventor of the violin chin rest and the orchestral rehearsal mark. However, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that Felix may have poured out all his pent-up longing for lovely Jenny into this amazing work.

If you like your music appealingly provocative with plenty of piquancy, don’t miss the Kalore Trio’s debut performance. Admission is free but donations towards St Faith’s Big Build Campaign will be gratefully received.

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