It was a cold, rainy, miserable night in Hobart, and a disappointingly small audience braved the weather to attend this recital. For those of us that did, it was a memorable evening. Jonathan Békés (newly confirmed Principal Cello with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) and Karen Smithies (one of Hobart’s most loved pianists) are a match made in heaven. Their performance last night was a dialogue of complete equality; the art of musical conversation at its best.

Karen Smithies Jonathan Békés

The highlight in this feast of Romanticism was Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70. The opening phrase created a sense of profound intimacy that took my breath away, and promised much. It was as if the duo took me by the hand and whispered, “Come with us, we’ve got something to show you.” As the Adagiounfolded I was not disappointed. Beautiful phrasing, a wonderful palette of colours, and a dance-like interweaving of foreground and background created magic and set my spine a-tingling. I felt the rhythmic energy, passion, and excitement of the Allegroalmost as if...