Concert 6. Wednesday 11 March 2015 Print







Debussy arr. Beamish         

La Mer
Frank Bridge  Piano Trio No.2, H.178    
Shostakovich Piano Trio No.2, Op.67


A Brave programme of Two Halves


The group's mission is to explore music outside the standard piano trio repertoire and so expand it with unknown or rarely played pieces. They also commission new works and arrangements. The first half of their Ilkley concert was made up of two such items. This was brave programming and their exploration of unfamiliar territory is to be applauded; how much easier to go on tour just with favourites by Beethoven, Schubert etc. Good also that concert promoters with their necessary concern for 'bums on seats' support such adventures.


They began with an arrangement of Debussy's La Mer which they'd commissioned from their composer friend Sally Beamish. Reducing a work for over a hundred players down to just three must have been a daunting task, but despite the loss of a lot of orchestral colour the result is a success. The Second Piano Trio by Frank Bridge is a harder nut for audiences to crack; its ideas, especially in the long first movement not easy to grasp despite the committed playing of the Apaches. The two central movements are more immediately rewarding and went well. However in both these works there was some lack of balance; the cellist Thomas Carroll and violinist Matthew Trusler have very contrasted approaches to performing, the one very extrovert, the other more inward, and Ashley Wass is a very assertive pianist.


After the interval these balance problems seemed to be resolved, and Shostakovich's Second Trio, surely a masterpiece, received a superb performance,. The way the first movement emerges from the shadows into full daylight was imaginatively done. The sardonic humour of the scherzo was conveyed at dazzling speed and the overwhelming sadness of the slow movement was expressively caught. The playing of the extraordinary finale, which moves from apparent triteness through searing tragedy and then to peaceful resolution was such that the end was greeted with profound silence before the applause could begin. Quite rightly after such an emotional experience no encore was offered or required.





Debussy, arr. Beamish

There is only one recording of this arrangement, and that is by tonight's artists which, fortunately, is an extremely good one on Orchid ORC 100043 (full price). Recording quality is excellent, and the coupling is "The Seafarer" for piano trio and narrator by Sally beamish.


Frank Bridge

A very good disc from Helios/Hyperion includes the Phantasie Trio, Fantasy Quartet and Piano Trio No.2, and has Hyperion's usual high standard of recording quality. The artists are The Dartington Trio on Helios CDH55063 (upper budget price). At around the same price, Jack Liebeck (violin), Alexander Chaushian (cello), and Ashley Wass (piano) perform Piano Trio No.2, Phantasie Trio and Miniatures, on Naxos 8.570792. The recording quality is very satisfactory.



This much recorded piece has recently appeared on the Supraphon label,

SU 4145-2, at full price. The young Smetana Trio give magnificent performances of the two Shostakovich Piano Trios and the Ravel Piano Trio, with very natural sounding recordings. A cheapish Naxos CD, 8.553297, has good performances by the Stockholm Arts Trio of the two Shostakovich Trios plus 7 Romances on Verses by Alexander Blok , with very satisfactory sound quality.

Raymond Waud.


Club Notes for this concert


Writing on 19th February, I have received opinions from about 10% of ICC Members (i.e. Season Tickets holders). If you as a Member have not already expressed your opinion about the start time for our concerts, then there is still plenty of time. The Committee will make the decision after the concert on 15th April. Accordingly the consultation will close on 17th April 2015 and I will announce the Committee's decision at the May concert.

To update the information from the February concert's Club Notes:

  • Email your opinion to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or
  • Mail your opinion to me at Flat 2, Skelda Grange, Wells Road, Ilkley LS29 9JE or
  • Leave a note with your opinion at the March or April concerts. There will be Boxes labelled "Concert Start Time Consultation" in the Winter Garden, both upstairs and downstairs.

In all cases be sure to give your Name (clearly please) so we know if the opinions apply to one or two seat holders.

We will be analysing all your opinions carefully so that the Committee can make a decision about starting time that is in the best interests of the Club as a whole.


We hope that you have appreciated the beautiful ICC posters outside the King's Hall. Their quality has been praised by Adam Renton, Chief Executive of Bradford Theatres; that is what we were shooting for - the posters are intended to reflect the quality that ICC aims for, not only in artists and in music, but in everything we do.

I no longer have the space to store the posters in our new flat. If you do have the wall space they make interesting and colourful pictures, with or without frames. I still have a number of them from Seasons 64 (2009-10) to 69(2014-15) to give away to Members. If you would like to choose poster(s) please contact David Wharmby (Chairman) – contacts as above, or leave a message for my attention with your phone number at the information desk in the Winter Garden.