It’s not often that Beethoven is the froth on the cappuccino, but such was the case when Selby & Friends launched their 2019 season with an imaginative and consummately performed program.

Selby & Friends, Root PositionNatalie Chee, Umberto Clerici and Kathryn Selby. Photo © Penny Vozniak

To be fair this was Ludwig as a 20-year-old fresh from the German sticks, intent on making his mark in Vienna and perhaps scoring some lessons from Papa Haydn with an audition piece – one of 200 works that fall into the WoO category (Werke ohne Opuszahl or ‘works without opus number’), written either before Opus 1 or not considered by their composer to be worthy of a number.

The E-Flat Piano Trio WoO 38 was a charming if occasionally gauche opener to an evening which Kathryn Selby branded Root Position, a title she spent some time explaining to her Sydney audience, the Adelaide one having proved “slightly iffy” about her point that it referred to musical keys and nothing more salacious.

This work was a showcase for Selby, with her ‘friends’ violinist Natalie Chee and cellist Umberto Clerici along for the ride, even though they managed a fair amount of...