One reviewer described David Matthews’ string quartets as ‘musical thinking of the highest order and quartet writing in the great tradition of Beethoven, Bartók, Britten, and Tippett’ – influences Matthews readily acknowledges. These three piano trios evoke two other masters, since they have something of the drama of Shostakovich and the lyrical intensity of Vaughan Williams – all elements drawn together in Matthews’ own voice to make these works some of the most moving chamber music of recent years.
Leonore Piano Trio (Tracks 1-10)
Gemma Rosefield, cello (Tracks 11-13)
Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 61 (1993)
Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 97 (2005)
Journeying Songs, Op. 95, for solo cello (2004–8)
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Catalogue No: TOCC0369EAN/UPC: 5060113445694Release Date: 01.01.2017Composer: David Matthews Artists: Gemma Rosefield,
Leonore Piano Trio
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Bruce Reader :
“[Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 34 (1983):] These players bring a fine spring to the music that constantly seeks to find the opening calm yet always leaps up to move quickly forward through some terrific passages before seeming to find a peace in the curious coda.
[Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 61 (1993):] Again in four movements, the Allegro opens with a blustery theme, full of energy, rising through some incisive bars as the idea is developed with the Leonore Piano Trio bringing terrific ensemble and precision before a sudden unresolved conclusion. [Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 97 (2005):] … the piano brings a lively motif in the opening of the Con vivacità that is quickly varied and taken up by the cello before all three share the theme. This trio finds some lovely textures and sonorities with the theme in its various guises, fairly leaping up each time out of the more restrained moments. … The Leonore Piano Trio’s cellist, Gemma Rosefield brings a very fine performance of Journeying Songs, Op. 95 for solo cello (2004/08) to conclude this disc. … Gemma Rosefield is an excellent advocate of this brilliant work. There are some wonderful works here, impressively played, containing some of Matthews’ finest music. They receive excellent recordings and there are informative notes from the composer.” –The Classical Reviewer, February 2017
Gary Higginson :
‘David Matthews is doubly fortunate. First, Toccata seem to be recording all of his chamber music with the string quartets already mostly available… Secondly, on this disc, he has the wonderful, technically impeccable and sensitive Leonore Piano Trio as his performers. … The Piano Trio No 2 begins affirmatively with another, concise, sonata–allegro movement. … The enigmatic finale ends with a flutter of disappearing birds after a wonderfully melodic middle section reminding us that Matthews is never frightened to write a tune with a touch of romance. … On reviewing Matthews’ Quartet No. 12, in 2014, I described it as a masterwork and I feel the same about his Piano Trio No. 3. … The manipulation of the themes is clever and masterly and the work is largely imbued with an autumnal nostalgia, which has drawn me back a few times. … Toccata are to be thanked and congratulated on the work they are doing on behalf of the prolific David Matthews whose post-romantic style appeals more and more as new works appear. His music makes a fascinating contrast to that of his brother Colin who perhaps has a more international appeal but whose music the celebrated ‘man in the street’ might find more challenging. All in all these scores are worth getting inside. A disc to search out.’ –Music Web International, March 2017
Richard Bratby :
“Confronted with composers who write fresh, communicative music, rooted but not trapped in tradition, we…well, we don’t neglect them exactly. … But if we don’t neglect them, it can certainly feel like we don’t always cherish them as we should. And we really should. Try the Adagio of Matthews’s Second Trio, of 1993. … It’s almost Schubertian in its cumulative poignancy. Matthews is a romantic. … Matthews tends, like Haydn, to write concise, energetic movements, crammed (again, like Haydn) with ideas. …you don’t need to know the specific sources of his inspiration… to respond to this music. It rewards repeated listening, with Matthews’s lyrical gift never far from the surface (and very much front and centre in his Journeying Songs for unaccompanied cello, sensitively performed here by the Leonore Trio’s cellist Gemma Rosefield). The Leonore Trio have clearly lived with this music; their playing is alert and stylish, unafraid to let the melodies soar. ‘Their performances seem to me definitive,’ says Matthews. Not wanting (or needing) to gainsay the composer, I’ll only add that the recorded sound is lucid and natural.” —Gramophone, April 2017
Jim Svejda :
“David Matthews has remained one of Britain’s most accomplished and individual composers. … The three piano trios… are excellent cases in point. Except in their craftsmanship and seriousness of purpose, they have little resemblance to any of the great piano trios of the past nor, for that matter, do they have all that much in common with each other. … the Adagio [of the Second Trio] is so ineffably lovely that the composer should seriously think of sanctioning its use as a free-standing work. (It really is that stunning). If less emotionally gripping, then the Third Trio might actually be the finest work of the three, each of its concise movements sculpted by the hand of a confident master. Cellist Gemma Rosefield and the other members of the Leonore Trio play all four works as though they’d been in their repertoire for years, the thoroughly lived-in interpretations further enhanced by the warm and airy recorded sound. In short, this is deeply important music, wonderfully played.” —Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2017
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