Beloved of the Gods

Patricia Kelly
The Courier Mail (Australia)

Who better than Brisbane clarinettist extraordinaire Paul Dean to lead the way, along with his brother-composer Brett on viola, and pianist Stephen Emmerson in the Mozart component of this chamber music selection from Mozart and Mendelssohn. Mozart gave some of his most cordial music to the clarinet, one of his favoured instruments. This Trio for clarinet, viola and piano in E flat major—the Kegelstatt is not up there with the clarinet concerto but its range of demands are well met by this trio’s nuanced, sprightly performance. They bring the same ebullience to Emmerson’s Papamina Suite, a neatly stitched medley of Magic Flute themes from arias sung in The Magic Flute by Pamina and Pagageno. This bubbly portion is complemented by a more reflective mood in Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No.2 in A minor played superbly by the multi-award winning Tinalley String Quartet (what a great group name) formed in 2003 with young Melbourne musicians Kristin Winther , Lerida Delbridge (violins), Justin Williams (viola) and Michelle Wood (cello). Their commitment, so obvious in their playing here, has won them worldwide recognition, particularly since winning the 2007 Banff International String Quartet Competition. They play with dedication in every note, in every well-crafted phrase that emerges with a judicious mix of spontaneity and maturity. Their instruments blend as one, with delicate etching in the third movement, and precision in the presto. A warm Aussie heart beats throughout this music.