Violinist Susie Parkand cellist Julian Smiles were pianist Kathryn Selby’s Friends for the fourth tour of Selby’s chamber music series this year, The Game Changers, which opened with Elena Kats-Chernin’s tranquil Blue Silence. Originally composed for cello and piano – but played here in the composer’s piano trio arrangement – Kats-Chernin wrote Blue Silenceso her son Alex, who lives with schizophrenia, “can listen to calmness, meditation”. At the work’s heart is a repeating chord progression, similar to the one that brings Kats-Chernin’s orchestral piece Mythicto a close, the opening fragments of which glimmered under Selby’s fingers. Park, whose day job is First Associate Concertmaster with The Minnesota Orchestra in the US, has a sound so rich and dark in the low register, it was a remarkable match for Smiles’ cello as the strings joined, in a lustrous, breathing account of the work.

Susie Park. Photo: supplied

The soft edges of Selby’s piano contrasted with the keener sound from Smiles in Benjamin Britten’s Cello Sonata – written for the great Mstislav Rostropovich after Britten heard him play Shostakovich’s sonata – the interplay between the two instruments hesitant and disjointed at first...