THE Sitkovetsky Trio pulled off a programme of wall-to-wall romance with enviable style last Friday, and this second concert of the British Music Society of York’s 95th season was deservedly well attended and enthusiastically received .

The electric connection between Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin) and Richard Harwood (cello) brought a scintillating edge to their fragmentary dialogues in the first movement of Saint-Saëns’ Piano Trio No. 2. Harwood, Sitkovetsky and Wu Qian (piano) demonstrated impressive technical assurance, breezing through Saint-Saëns’ rich contrapuntal finale at breakneck speed.

Ravel’s Piano Trio is already so lush that overindulgent performers risk engulfing the listener in a cloud of candy floss (which, unless you have a very sweet tooth, is not as nice as it sounds). It was a delight, then, that this ensemble steered clear of such excess. The trio tastefully avoided unnecessary wallowing, and nothing was needlessly overstated. Accordingly, the moments that really warranted indulgence were exquisite.

In Dvořák’s Dumky Trio, the ensemble’s expressive versatility was showcased yet again. Often described as "brooding", in this performance the work’s moments of gentle wit, elegance and raucous barn-stomping fun played easily alongside the darker material.

What set this group apart was their impeccable taste in deciding where not to indulge – which is just as crucial to a stylish and satisfying overall performance as injecting sufficient expression. Effortless technical execution and attention to nuance meant that the notes never got in the way of the music.

Review by Claire McGinn