Concert 4. Wednesday 9 January 2013 8pm PDF Print E-mail

GOULD PIANO TRIO

 

PROGRAMME

Hummel Piano Trio in F op. 22
Fauré Piano Trio in D Minor op. 120         
Tchaikovsky        Piano Trio in A Minor op. 50

 

The Gould Piano Trio make a welcome return to Ilkley. An ensemble with an enviable reputation for musical integrity and imagination, they celebrate their 20th Anniversary in 2012.

 

Hummel was a piano virtuoso and a contemporary of Beethoven. His piano trio is a particularly charming piece.

 

Fauré's piano trio is a late work with exquisite melodies and characteristically delicate piano writing.

 

Conceived on a large scale in memory of his mentor and friend Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky's trio has a serious elegiac first movement with a large second movement – a set of 11 variations. This is music with an epic sweep and intoxicating virtuosity. 

 

The Gould Trio" ... not only plays with

meticulous technical skill ... but they also [give]

convincing, engaging performances ..."

allmusic.com

 

 

"This [Gould] concert was as they say

'as good as it gets' and we get many good

concerts in the Ilkley series."

Geoffrey Kinder ILKLEY GAZETTE

  

CONCERT REVIEW

 

Virtuosic Chamber Music at the King's Hall Ilkley

 

This well balanced programme began lightly with Hummel's op.22 Trio, the first movement performed with grace and elegance, and in the ensuing variations which give each player a chance to shine, they made the most of the opportunity and were then in a more suitably unbuttoned mood for the boisterous finale.

 

The restrained emotionalism of the Fauré D minor Piano Trio was well caught. This is music of considerable hidden depths and the players explored its secrets well, cellist Alice Neary 's rich-toned opening solo taking us beguilingly into the composer's unique sound-world. The slow movement's singing lines were expressively projected and there was a real sense of release in the far more extrovert finale, played with tremendous attack.

 

After the interval a real contrast, music of unrestrained feeling, Tchaikowsky's two –movement Trio in A minor. This is a real marathon for the players and can be for the audience, but not on this occasion. The Goulds effectively communicated all the strengths of this unwieldy (and some would argue uneven) work and constantly held our attention throughout its fifty minute discourse.

The hero of the performance was pianist Benjamin Frith. With the piano lid fully open he negotiated his concerto-like part with total assurance, without ever threatening to drown his partners yet never seeming to underplay his contribution; a remarkable achievement. The string players entered fully into the dramatic spirit of the music, whether it was languorous, turbulent or folk-like in that uniquely Russian manner; the long sad coda to the first movement affectively done.

 

The extended second movement's variations were superbly characterized and throughout, Lucy Gould's violin-playing was a joy, especially in the more reflective moments such as her muted solo in the ninth variation. Cellist and violinist showed powerful unanimity in the many octave and unison passages, never more so than at the end when the work's opening theme returns in grandiose triple forte. The final bars are sombre but the audience response was deservedly noisy and enthusiastic.

 

Geoffrey Kinder

 

The following recordings were recommended in the programme.

 

Hummel
An outstanding disc from Naxos on "authentic instruments" couples the F major Trio with two others and a Cello Sonata (8.557694). In the F major trio the artists are Susan Alexander-Max (fortepiano), Simon Standage (violin) and Pal Banda (cello). The recording quality is excellent and the disc comes at upper-budget price.

Fauré

Hyperion have placed their superb recording with the Florestan Trio in their 30th. Anniversary Series (CDA30029), placing it in the budget category. The outstanding couplings are the Debussy and Ravel Piano Trios, and the recording quality, as usual from this source, is very good indeed. 

 

Tchaikovsky

In the last few years there have been a number of successful recordings of this lovely work. The Vienna Piano Trio on MDG 942 1512-2 (full price and SACD playable on all CD players) gives a very fine performance and, as usual with this label, is very well recorded. The coupling is the wonderful Smetana Piano Trio. A good, well recorded, budget alternative, but without a coupling, is on Apex 0927-48728-2. The artists are Pascal Rogé (piano), Pierre Amoyal (violin) and Frédéric Lodeon (cello). Tonight's Trio have a very fine recording of this work on Champs Hill Records CHRCD 012 (full price). The coupling is Rachmaninov's Trio Élégiaque No.1.

Raymond Waud.
CLUB NOTES

MORE CONGRATULATIONS TO CD DONORS & BUYERS

We took £241 at the December concert. Since October 2004, members have generously donated their surplus/unwanted CDs and DVDs (and have even scrounged from family and friends!). All proceeds go to Concert Club funds. By the end of 2012 we had reached the amazing total of £4895 (for full details, see the Table on our website).

 

More and more people are making a visit to the CD stall in the Winter Garden an essential part of their evening, so please don't miss out. We are open from about 7.15 pm before the concert and throughout the interval.

 

We had many gifts before the first concert, so this season started well. However, since then we have received gifts of more than 250 CDs and these will be gradually introduced and given prominence on the display stands at future concerts. So visit us early to avoid disappointment! You can guarantee some 60 'new' items to browse through at each concert until the end of this season.

 

The success of the stall depends entirely on the generosity of both donors and customers – so please keep the CDs and DVDs coming in and please visit the stall on concert evenings. If you have a number of CDs or DVDs to donate and would like to have them collected, please contact Tony Hudson on 01943 430798 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

HAPPY 2013

We have some very special concerts coming up. The waiting list for "returned tickets" for the Sarah Connolly – Malcolm Martineau song recital is already very long. If you can't come to that concert, please give someone else an opportunity to hear it by calling Jennie Rundle on 01943 609045 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to tell her that you will not be using your tickets. No need to return the ticket(s) – all she needs is your name. Another to look forward to is the Elias Quartet's concert on 20th February. They are currently deeply involved in playing complete cycles of Beethoven quartets, so we can expect deeply committed and informed playing at our concert. See http://thebeethovenproject.com, if you want to understand some of the thought that goes into their performances.