The scheduled programme had included Trios by Debussy and Chaminade, and I’d done my homework so that at least I’d have some idea about what was what. But very unfortunately the Fiorini Trio had had to cancel at very short notice - so it was extraordinary that the concert took place at all, thanks to the London Mozart Trio standing in.

But gone were the French composers, and the concert confronted us with Brahms in C minor - a daunting prospect. Big chords and then one of those muscular turbulent Brahms themes set the piece going, and the second theme, though gentler and moving by smaller intervals, seemed equally restless. The texture was characteristically dense, full of interweaving lines, triplets against duple time: it was material that could have formed a very large scale movement. But it turned out to be a very terse and its brevity took me by surprise - suddenly the coda was upon us, two loud chords and it was done. The London Mozart Trio had played it with all the energy it demanded and it was a powerful opener.

The Presto non assai (there’s something very Brahmsian about that: presto - as fast possible - non assai - but not too much!) began with Colin Stone, piano, characterising nicely the strange little wandering theme. The whole movement was very ambiguous - you never knew how dangerous it might become, until it slowed down and petered out very quietly. The slow movement’s arching main theme is presented by the strings, then taken up by the piano, and this sympathetic dialogue characterises the whole movement, which you might think of as a very tender dialogue between the strings and piano - until with two sudden loud chords the piano brutally declares it over. The finale is full of agitated wanderings, which at times were played with the same strenuous minor key turbulence that dominated the first movement. Come the coda the minor key agitation was transformed into major key vitality, the three players addressing the music with a conviction that set the heart racing.

They displayed similar energy in the amazing Shostakovich Trio, not least in the demented dance of its second movement. One of the weirdest moments in this work is its very opening when the cello (Sagi Hartov) plays a slow fugue theme on harmonics - and thin and ghostly sound as though sounding from the wrong side of the grave; the violin, Krzysztof Smietana, comes in in the foreground, with an entirely human song of sorrow; the piano entry is in the deep bass, rumbling among the rocks and the caves. The slow movement is a string lament above solemn, slow piano chords and leads without a break into the impassioned finale based on Jewish-style theme. The London Mozart Trio gave this work, composed in the dark years of the Second World War, a strong and passionate performance, appropriate to Remembrance Sunday on which the concert took place.

The second half was filled entirely by the ‘heavenly length’ of Schubert’s Piano Trio in B flat. Colin Stone’s piano playing was a delight, and Sagi Hartov was always expressive on the cello. Smietana’s violin playing was extremely beautiful, and wonderful singing tone often rising gloriously above his colleagues, but there was something perhaps a little too dour and stern about his demeanour to allow Schubert’s melodies to melt the heart quite as they might. It had served him well in the strength of the Brahms and navigating through the desolation of the Shostakovich; but a little more warmth would have been welcome now. Even so, it was a very powerful performance, and one is very grateful indeed that the London Mozart Trio were able to give us a concert that otherwise would not have taken place at all.