RECORDINGS
 

 
Hyperion
Hyperion CDA68243
release: 1/2/2019
Sir Hubert Parry (1848-1918)
Piano Trios Nos 1 & 3

Leonore Piano Trio

Piano Trio No 1 in E minor
Piano Trio No 3 in G major
Partita in D minor - Benjamin Nabarro (violin), Tim Horton (piano)
 

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REVIEW:
 
(Leonore Trio Website)
Brahms, Schumann …it’s been too easy, over the long years of its relative neglect, to reach for obvious comparisons when discussing Parry’s chamber music. We’ve all done it. But listen to the second movement of his First Piano Trio of 1878: piano lightly sketching in its melody, buoyed up by pizzicato cello, while the violin buzzes brilliantly along behind it on needlepoint. Or move on to the Adagio, with the violin orating eloquently above a chiming, free-floating piano. The basic idiom is familiar, for sure, but the imaginative conception is distinctive and wholly original. It doesn’t, in honesty, sound quite like anything else. In short, it’s Parry.

If that fact alone is enough of a recommendation, you’ll be purring with satisfaction at this exemplary new release from the Leonore Piano Trio. Enthusiasm isn’t always enough to prevent recordings of unfamiliar music from sounding raw but these performances feel fully matured – fresh, intelligent and strikingly stylish; edgy when they need to be and opening out generously when Parry’s romantic impulse demands it (as in the second subject of the First Trio’s restless opening Allegro).

It’s certainly never a wallow (Hyperion’s clear, naturally balanced recorded sound helps there too). Phrases are taut and melodies are deftly characterised – giving both the grandeur and the dancelike momentum of a passacaglia to the Lento slow movement of the more loosely structured Second Trio, a movement that Parry conceived as a lament. As a makeweight, violinist Benjamin Nabarro and pianist Tim Horton give a smiling and equally vivid account of the mock-Baroque Partita; an inventive little delight, in the manner of Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Excellent booklet notes from Parryist-in-chief Jeremy Dibble, who seems to be on something of a roll.

Richard Bratby, Gramophone Magazine, January 2019
   

   
The Heavens and the Heart:
Choral and Orchestral Music
by James Francis Brown


Benjamin Nabarro (violin), Rachel Roberts (viola), Gemma Rosefield (cello), Catriona Scott (clarinet), The Choir of Royal Holloway, Orchestra Nova & George Vass (conductor)

Trio Concertante
Clarinet Concerto
The Heavens and the Heart
 

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REVIEW:
 
 

The music of James Francis Brown (b1969) is one of Britain’s well-kept secrets. Too well kept for my liking. This new release from Resonus is the first of any of his orchestral works, and what a disc it is! The Trio concertante (2005 06) is a glorious single-movement triple concerto for violin, viola and cello that belongs in the topmost rank of British string-orchestral music. The musical style may be rooted in Vaughan Williams, early Tippett and Britten, yet on closer acquaintance one realises that Brown’s music is truly all his own. A glorious listen, no wonder George Vass chose to perform it in his 60th birthday concert at St John’s Smith Square last year, which is where I first encountered it.

The Clarinet Concerto Lost Lanes – Shadow Groves (2008) is no less evocative, partly of the rural landscape of Norfolk but also as an exploration of the pathways of the mind, of the resonances and historical associations the real landscape calls forth. Admirers of Rubbra’s choral music will, I think, find much to enjoy in the three psalms comprising The Heavens and the Heart (2015 16). Orchestra Nova’s performances are thoroughly committed and winning, proving themselves real partners to the four excellent soloists and splendid Royal Holloway Choir, all playing with a relish matched on the podium by Vass. The sound is terrific, too. A must-buy disc!
Guy Rickards - Amazone Magazine, January 2019


   

Hyperion CDA68207

Johann Peter Pixis (1788-1874)
Piano Trios

Leonore Piano Trio

Piano Trio No 1 in E flat major 'Grand Trio' Op 75
Piano Trio No 3 in B minor Op 95
Trio Concertant No 1[11'09]

released: Jan 2018
 

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REVIEW:

(Leonore Trio Website)

Johann Peter Pixis (1788-1874) is sadly neglected nowadays; with the recent exception of Stephen Hough and Howard Shelley, few musicians have paid any attention to him although in his day he was greatly respected, particularly so in Paris where the Mannheim-born composer resided from 1825 to 1845. His style of composition indicates that his birth-date lay between those of Beethoven and Schubert but some of his fiery fast-moving piano sequences suggest Mendelssohn.

All seven of Pixis’s Piano Trios were composed during his sojourn in Paris and the two examples presented here (respectively from 1825 and 1828) are highly original. The repeat of the four-minute exposition is made in the extensive first movement of the E flat Trio, although the Probst edition does not mark it but the contours of the movement justify the performers’ decision. There is Beethoven-like power here with the piano taking a melodic lead but all credit to the recording engineer David Hinitt for ensuring the strings are boldly audible. The brief Andante con moto is elegant, its cheerfulness surrounding a central section of momentary drama. The score shows the movement ending with a dramatic Adagio culminating in a brilliant piano cadenza but this section is really an introduction to the Finale and it is therefore placed at the start of track three. The main body of the Finale is highly exuberant until a minute's thoughtfulness is succeeded by a brilliant coda. The members of the Leonore Piano Trio rightly concentrate on the inherent optimism for the quieter melodies are too innocent to be sentimentalised and the straightforwardness of the reading makes for an ideal approach.

Antony Hodgson Classical Source January 2018


Toccata Records
CD TOCC0369

David Matthews - Complete Piano Trios

Leonore Piano Trio
Benjamin Nabarro, Gemma Rosefield, Tim Horton

Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 34 (1983)
Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 61 (1993)
Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 97 (2005)

Journeying Songs, Op. 95, for solo cello (2004–8)
Gemma Rosefield, cello
I Con vivacità
II Andante moderato
III Song for Gemma: Andante trasognato – Allegro appassionato


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REVIEWS:

(Leonore Trio Website)

"The Leonore Piano Trio have clearly lived with this music; their playing is alert and stylish, unafraid to let me melodies sore. ‘Their performances seem to me definitive’, says Matthews.’
Richard Bratby, Gramophone

‘Lyrical lines are played with a poignancy and delicacy by an ensemble who thoroughly believe in the music.’
Martin Cullingford, Gramophone

‘David Matthews is doubly fortunate. […] on this disc, he has the wonderful, technically impeccable and sensitive Leonore Piano Trio as his performers.’
Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International


Hyperion Records

Taneyev & Rimsky-Korsakov: Piano Trios

Leonore Piano Trio
Benjamin Nabarro, Gemma Rosefield, Tim Horton

Piano Trio in D major Op 22 by Sergei Taneyev
Piano Trio in C minor by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Hyperion CD 68159
 
 
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REVIEWS:

(Leonore Trio Website)

"Sizzling performance of two late Romantic piano trios"

The thrilling performances of the Leonore Piano make these late Romantic works come alive and Hyperion has provided their usual superb sonics.
Robert Moon, Audiophile Audition April 2017 >>> more

The Leonore Piano Trio – Benjamin Nabarro (violin); Gemma Rosefield (cello) and Tim Horton (piano) are fine interpreters; Nabarro and Rosefield’s duet in the penultimate movement [of the Taneyev] is noteworthy. […] [For the Rimsky-Korsakov,] the Leonore Piano Trio evoke the rainbow colours and myriad shapes, moving quickly from dark and expansive (first movement) to slithers of iridescence (second movement). Horton brings an uneasy sense of trepidation to the third movement, foreshadowing the bittersweet piano solo in the finale. The balance of instruments is excellent throughout.
Claire Jackson, BBC Music Magazine ****

Taneyev, more astute than Tchaikovsky was in finding a balance between the piano and the two string instruments, is also far more resourceful in tonal colouring, in contrapuntal knitting and pitting of parts and in the general sense of creative momentum and coherence. These are qualities that the Leonore harness to terrific effect [...]
Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone

With the British Leonore Piano Trio, [the music] is all about naturalness and spontaneity, partly driven by the driving force of the expressive pianist Tim Horton. [...] The kaleidoscopic mood swings are particularly hard-hitting [...] Intense, and concentrated, [...] the technical finish is flawless.
Aart van der Wal, Opus Klassiek


Hyperion Records
Hyperion CDA68113

Édouard Lalo (1823-1892)

Leonore Piano Trio
Benjamin Nabarro, Gemma Rosefield, Tim Horton

Piano Trio No 1 in C minor Op 7
Piano Trio No 2 in B minor
Piano Trio No 3 in A minor Op 26

   
 
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REVIEWS:

(Leonore Trio Website)

...powerful performance by the Leonore Piano Trio. Their huge dynamic range is effortlessly accommodated by the recording.
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review
'Disc of the Week'

The suavity of playing is another key factor in lending all three trios the polish and panache that they merit.
Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone

There’s high virtuosity all round—superb light, dazzling backgrounds from Tim Horton, searing intensity of tone from violinist Benjamin Nabarro and cellist Gemma Rosefield [...] it’s terrific stuff.
Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine ****

A remarkable disc of his piano trios by the Leonore, who make a good case of them [...] a real discovery
The Sunday Times

Benjamin Nabarro, Gemma Rosefield and Tim Horton make a very convincing case for this trio of trios
MusicWeb International

The Leonore Piano Trio, with none other than Tim Horton on piano, delivers clean, light performances that respect the music's craft without trying to make of it more than is there.
AllMusic, USA

The Leonore Piano Trio has much to offer in regard to its meticulous observing of Lalo’s wide-ranging dynamics … on balance, this is the finest release with all three Lalo trios in the present and past catalogs
ClassicsToday.com


Hyperion Records
Hyperion CDA68015

Anton Arensky (1861-1906)

Leonore Piano Trio
Benjamin Nabarro, Gemma Rosefield, Tim Horton

Piano Trio No 1 in D minor Op 32
Piano Trio No 2 in F minor Op 73
Vocalise (No 14 of Songs, Op 34)

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943), arr. Julius Conus (1869-1942)

 
  REVIEWS:
 
 
"the Leonore Trio do much to persuade us to listen anew to Arensky – too often dismissed as a lightweight Tchaikovsky – playing with sumptuous breadth and beguiling warmth in the first trio, and with appropriate seriousness of intent in the altogether graver second. Revelatory playing from Benjamin Nabarro, violin, Gemma Rosefield, cello, and Tim Horton, piano.
The Observer ****