Stanford: Piano Quartet No 2, Piano Trio No 1 / Gould Piano Trio

> Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 35 - I. Allegro grazioso
> Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 35 - II. Allegretto con moto
> Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 35 - III. Tempo di menuetto ma molto moderato
> Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 35 - IV. Allegro moderato ma con fuoco
> Legend - Legend
> 6 Irish Fantasies, Op. 54 - No. 3. Jig: Allegretto
> 6 Irish Fantasies, Op. 54 - No. 5. Hush Song: Larghetto
> Piano Quartet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 133 - I. Andante - Allegro moderato
> Piano Quartet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 133 - II. Adagio
> Piano Quartet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 133 - III. Scherzo: Allegro
> Piano Quartet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 133 - IV. Allegro molto moderato

Album Summary

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Trio for Piano and Strings no 1, Op. 35
>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Legend, for violin & piano
>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Six Irish Fantasies, Op. 54
>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Quartet for Piano and Strings no 2 in C minor, Op. 133
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Stanford's chamber music occupies an important position in his oeuvre. The Piano Trio No. 1 was dedicated to the great Hans von Bülow and is an impressively large-scaled and lyrical work, exuding both elegance and vigour. The Piano Quartet No. 2 was revived by the Gould Trio after long neglect in 2010. It too is an exceptional work, melodically profuse, including folkloric elements and balancing its clement and turbulent aspects with utter assurance. The violin pieces supply appealing qualities of tuneful playfulness.

Fanfare
Gould Piano... play the quartet with the fullness of passion it deserves... Gould and Frith are charming in the pieces for violin and piano... this is strongly recommended.

MusicWeb International
Not a cycle as such, but all of Stanford's chamber music for more than one stringed instrument and piano has now been recorded. The première recording of the unpublished Second Piano Quartet reveals a major work and the new version of Piano Trio no.1 is at least the equal of its predecessor by the Pirasti Trio. The three beautiful pieces for violin and piano are premières too.

ClassicsToday.com
[Stanford's] best pieces are always those where he allows the folk influence to shine, as in the two Irish Fantasies included here... The First Piano Trio has two charming middle movements, including a curious minuet that also doubles as a sort of slow movement. The Second Piano Quartet... has all of the vigor and passion... The fleet scherzo is a treat, but the thematic material generally is more striking and stronger in profile than in the trio. All the performances here are very sympathetic. Pianist Benjamin Frith is considerate of his colleagues but characterful when he needs take over the spotlight. The strings are well balanced and nicely tuned both against the piano and each other. ... this disc is worth hearing for the balance of the program - and that's still almost 50 solid minutes.

MusicWeb International
The First Piano Trio... remained dormant until the present recording and a performance by the same forces in 2010. The manuscript has been edited by Jeremy Dibble, who also provides the authoritative notes... no one who buys this CD - which deserves to be a bestseller - is likely to conclude that Stanford himself had failed to deliver. Furthermore, while Stanford's use of first-movement sonata form in his symphonies always retained a certain academic correctness - and in fact he gradually abandoned the symphony in favour of the Irish Rhapsody for his major orchestral statements - he allowed himself a more inventive approach to form in his chamber music.

MusicWeb International
The playing of all the music on this CD is simply superb. The Gould Trio, David Adams and Benjamin Frith are bold advocates for this important and interesting music. It is finely recorded. The notes by Jeremy Dibble are extremely helpful.

American Record Guide
All the playing on this recording is excellent. I'm extremely grateful to these marvelous musicians for introducing me to these newlyunearthed treasures.

Gramophone
Charles Villiers Stanford was such a wonderful composer, it hardly needs saying here, and Naxos has done well by him. So well that I ungratefully wonder whether we might have one or two of his operas (Much Ado about Nothing, anyone?). But here is a stylish exploration that shows yet again that our concert halls should be programming more Stanford. I'd go.

Gramophone
I'm delighted to be able to report that the Gould Piano Trio are magnificently stylish and sympathetic champions, and in the Piano Quartet they are joined by the excellent David Adams on the viola. Benefiting from top-notch production values throughout, this generously filled disc should be snapped up without delay.

Toronto Star
... thanks to dedicated enthusiasts like England's Gould Trio... we can roll around in some of his most engaging music through gorgeous interpretations... the Goulds... elegantly serve up the four-movement... Other treats on the album are the sparkling, spacious Piano Trio No. 1 and some light stuff - a Legend and two of a set of six Irish Fantasies - that serves as the whipped cream, with cherry on top.

MusicWeb International
Much as I enjoyed that earlier recording, I think the current successor is even better. If you still harboured any misconceptions about Stanford as a comfortable Victorian composer, forget them: the First Piano Trio combines as much intensity and lyricism as any of Elgar's chamber music and the Gould Trio do it full justice. Aided by David Adams, they also give a first-class performance of the Second Piano Quartet, an unjustly neglected work which was never published in the composer's lifetime and has only recently been resurrected by the Gould Trio with the editorial assistance of Professor Jeremy Dibble, who also contributes the authoritative notes. The mp3 sound is very good, contributing to a strong recommendation.

Allmusic.com
... this disc receive a thorough dusting off by the Gould Piano Trio, which consists of violinist Lucy Gould, cellist Alice Neary, and pianist Benjamin Frith, who perform in the piano trio, and are joined by violist David Adams in the Piano Quartet No. 2 in C minor. Typical of Stanford's style are the expansive forms and long-breathed melodies of noble character, supported throughout by rhythmic gestures and energetic counterpoint, which was strongly by Johannes Brahms. The Piano Trio and the Piano Quartet exude a sweet Romanticism, and the richness of the harmonies and gracefulness of the melodies should win these pieces many more performances. Also quite attractive are the pieces composed for violin and piano, which form the heart of this program. "The Legend," "The Jig," and "Hush Song" from the Six Irish Fantasies are charming parlor pieces that would be appealing on any violin recital. Naxos provides warm and vibrant sound, so this album is an excellent introduction to a body of work that plainly deserves an appreciative audience.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The Music Room, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, UK (12/14/2009-12/16/2009).



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Works Details

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Trio for Piano and Strings no 1, Op. 35
  • Ensemble: Gould Piano Trio
  • Notes: The Music Room, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, UK (12/14/2009-12/16/2009)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1889

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Legend, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Lucy Gould (Violin); Benjamin Frith (Piano)
  • Notes: The Music Room, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, UK (12/14/2009-12/16/2009)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1893

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Six Irish Fantasies, Op. 54 :: no 3
  • Performers: Lucy Gould (Violin); Benjamin Frith (Piano)
  • Notes: The Music Room, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, UK (12/14/2009-12/16/2009)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Six Irish Fantasies, Op. 54 :: no 5
  • Performers: Lucy Gould (Violin); Benjamin Frith (Piano)
  • Notes: The Music Room, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, UK (12/14/2009-12/16/2009)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Quartet for Piano and Strings no 2 in C minor, Op. 133
  • Performer: David Adams [Violin/Viola] (Viola)
  • Ensemble: Gould Piano Trio
  • Notes: The Music Room, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, UK (12/14/2009-12/16/2009)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music