Edward Bhesania hears the performance of Beethoven, Roussel and Mozart at London’s Wigmore Hall on 6 March 2024 


Left-right: Eberle, La Marca and Viersen. Photo: Wigmore Hall Trust 2024

There was something of a paradox to this concert by Veronika Eberle and friends – robust and reliable though their playing was. In the outer movements of Beethoven’s C minor String Trio op.9 no.3, the players worked too hard, leading to a hectic, breathless quality, even touching on the ferocious. Eberle’s own sound also tended towards a flatter, edgier core, exacerbating the effect.

Roussel’s String Trio (1937) was his last completed work, dedicated to the Trio Pasquier. It has a neo-Classical clarity but with less of the 20th-century flair exercised by Stravinsky, Poulenc and others. The busy counterpoint of the first two movements could have taken some relaxation but, by contrast, in the lighter texture of the finale, the players took the chance to shine.

With Mozart’s Divertimento in E flat major K563, came the relief of more tonal variety, not least the welcome warmth of the Adagio and a spirited accented tumbling theme in the Minuet and Trio. There was surely more charm to be squeezed from the theme in the variation-form Andante, though the finale came with some light-hearted buoyancy. Overall, however, it wasn’t clear the players were themselves altogether convinced by these pieces.