Yesterday on the flight home from Norway, our flight crew announced that the airline had just installed free WiFi on certain planes, including ours. As I had a laptop with me I was able to send my first e-mail from the sky. Even more amazingly, a reply pinged straight back from my astonished family, who are used to me being un-contactable while I’m on planes. I felt very 21st-century!
The Trondheim International Chamber Competition finished on Sunday with the Trio Paul Klee, from Paris, as the winners of the first prize. The London-based Fournier Trio (see photo) won the second prize and the Audience Prize, which will bring them back to Trondheim next year for a series of concerts. Third prize went to the Atanassov Trio, also from Paris. All three groups had tremendous qualities, and look set for fine careers.
Curiously enough the Final Round, at least in my view, was less impressive than the earlier rounds. All the participants had to play either Schubert’s B flat Trio or Beethoven’s Archduke, and it suddenly seemed as if they all felt they were little people walking around in giant’s shoes. This is, I think, a tribute to the sheer grandeur of those pieces of music. However, despite the Final not being quite as satisfying as I had hoped, the standard of playing overall was very high. I will treasure in particular the memory of the second round, in which the Atanassov Trio and the Fournier Trio played Schumann no 2 so beautifully, and the Trio Paul Klee were so wonderfully attuned to Brahms.