Even if one had not been told by the programme that the Kehr String Trio were formed in 1948, one could guess from their rhythmic subtleties, their unforced sense of rubato and their nearly faultless ensemble, that they have been playing together a long time.
With the flautist Hans Moehring, their recital last night closed the second successful series by the Bulawayo Celebrity Concerts.
Max Teger’s String Trio in A minor was an interesting if odd choice for an opening piece; interesting because one hears so little Reger, odd in the sense it conveyed of an essentially academic temperament playing a romantic charade.
It illustrated quite forcefully why Hindemith and Schoenberg in their different ways felt compelled to make a radical break with the ailing romantic impulse.
Hans Moehring is a superb instrumentalist. His playing was rich with felicities of style, tonal nuance and phrasing. Whether playing concertante in Mozart’s Quartets, or as a team member, in the diverting Roussel Trio, he judged his function to a nicety, and integrated splendidly with his companions. Moments that remain in the mind are the Trio’s cunning throw-away of the cadence closing the Reger scherzo, the light-hearted unanimity at the end of the Roussel, the zest of the Beethoven Op. 25 Serenade, with razor-sharp accenting in the menuetto, the stylish relaxed Mozart Quartets – including the encore movement from the D major Quartet, K 285.