St Peter's Church recital series ends with three 'old friends playing music together' - actually they're three widely acclaimed musicians

Written by Tony Millett on .


The fifth series of recitals by Brilliant Young International Pianists and Musicians at St Peter's Church ends on Sunday evening (June 25) with a very special concert indeed.  Three internationally renowned instrumentalists performing together as the Watterton Trio - it will be a real treat for Marlborough.



Pianist Simon Watterton has given recitals around the world and around Britain.  His wife, the Irish violinist Anna Cashell plays both as a soloist and with a number of chamber groups - including with her sister and brother as the Cashell Trio.


Cellist Simon Wallfisch studied cello and voice at the Royal College of Music and now performs at international venues both as a baritone and a cellist - and sometimes as both at once (as in the picture above.)  He sings in Europe's great opera houses, as a recitalist and also in oratorios.


How, asked Simon Watterton, do these very busy musicians fit it all in?  "Sometimes playing the music is the easy bit.  We have young families too so that has added to the complexities, but we are all so happy and grateful to have this music in our lives that it's easy to find time for new projects."  

"We were all at music college together so it's also a great way to keep in touch with old friends by playing music together!"

At this series' final recital, they will be playing Mendelssohn's Trio No 1 in D minor - Haydn's Piano Trio in G Major known as the 'Gypsy Rondo' - and  Anton Arensky's Trio No. 1 in D minor.

Arensky (1861-1906) - a firm friend of Tchaikovsky - wrote this trio in 1894. How, we asked, Simon Watterton, should we classify this Romantic work by a relatively little known composer: "Arensky's trio is a wonderful piece. It's similar in many ways to the more famous Mendelssohn trio in the same key which we are also playing, but it's altogether darker and, as you say, Romantic."

"It's wonderfully balanced between the three instruments and, whilst hinting at Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, has a sound world all of its own. " 

The recital will begin with the Mendelssohn trio: "The D Minor trio is one of the great staples of the repertoire, so it's harder to come to it without preconceptions, as it is for the Arensky."

"I think the challenge for the Mendelssohn is to really dig deeply into the details of phrasing, articulation and ensemble, then perform it with real spontaneity and freedom. Even in his darker music there is a freshness and song-like quality about the writing that really lives in the moment."


Looking over the list of their recent performances playing both together and separately, it seems as though they spend much of their time travelling around the world and especially around Europe.  


Simon Watterton does not deny that with all the travel it is a hectic life:  "Being a pianist, travel is quite easy. I don't envy my string playing colleagues. Anna frequently has to buy a ticket for 'Mr Violin' so her violin doesn't go into the hold of the plane."


"In the UK we did a duo concert recently and got stuck in traffic, arriving literally in time to get changed and go onto the stage without having eaten or got warmed up for the concert or in my case even tried the piano."


"They say practice makes perfect, but in reality practice enables a concert to happen when the musicians turn up tired, hungry and parked at the bottom of a hill!"


Tickets for this recital are £10 - available from Sound Knowledge, the White Horse Bookshop or on the door.  The series has been sponsored by Robert Hiscox and Hiscox Insurance.