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Beethoven, Ireland & Dvorak

Ludwig Van Beethoven - Piano Trio in G Op.1 No. 2
John Ireland - Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor
Antonin Dvorak- Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor Op. 65

Lucy Gould - violin
Alice Neary - cello
Benjamin Frith -piano

The Gould Piano Trio at Wigmore Hall, 21st July 2010

The Gould Piano Trio play as one; with delicacy and finesse.

Haydnesque Beethoven (his Op 1) can become dull; here it skipped and sang. The articulation was especially crisp. From where I was sitting [R] the balance favoured the violin, Lucy Gould’s clear tone cutting through; however, other audience members assured me that elsewhere the balance was good.

When Alice Neary’s solos did come through they were exquisite, particularly in Ireland’s first world war influenced Piano Trio No. 2 in G; a blend of poignant lyricism and march-like figures depicting ‘the boys going over the top of the trenches’.

For the second half another work of emotional intensity; Dvorak’s F minor Piano Trio No. 3, written after his mother’s death. On a lighter note, the trio delighted the audience with Cyril Scott’s lilting Cornish Boat Song; they could not be allowed to leave without an encore.

And their latest Naxos CD

IRELAND, J.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 / Cello Sonata

Naxos are lucky to have the Gould Piano Trio and its members recording for them regularly. The recent release of John Ireland’s violin sonatas and his cello sonata is a treat.

Underplayed works given with great intensity, they encompass a gamut of emotions.

The cello sonata was originally written with Beatrice Harrison in mind; here the long lyrical lines are superbly drawn out of Alice Neary’s cello.

Along with this, and his sunnier first sonata, is the evocative second violin sonata; like the trio, heavily influenced by Ireland’s response to the First World War. Lucy Gould dazzles with virtuosity, well matched by Benjamin Frith’s superb musicianship.

A must for all lovers of ‘English impressionism’.

Anna Michel

See also Richard Smith at Wigmore Hall