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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55071
Recording details: December 1984
Seldon Hall, Haberdashers' Aske's School, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: August 1988
Total duration: 11 minutes 16 seconds

'The Nash’s superb 1984 set of Malcolm Arnold’s chamber music makes a welcome return. The wide stereo spread of the quintets … enhances the sense of being in the room with the musicians’ (BBC Music Magazine)

'The playing of the various members of the Nash Ensemble is impeccable, as indeed is the recording' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Reveals Arnold at his most inventive: tuneful, witty and ingenious … The performances by the individual members of the Nash are impeccable. This set may one day be equalled but it is unlikely to be bettered, and it deserves classic status' (International Record Review)

‘An entertaining, at times compelling portrait of a British composer whose true measure we’re only just beginning to gauge' (Classic FM Magazine)

Piano Trio, Op 54
composer

Andante  [5'08]
Vivace energico  [1'52]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The main themes of the first movement of the Piano Trio (first performed by the St Cecilia Trio in 1956) are grave and song-like; but first, violin and cello demand attention with a rhetorical unison, the piano appending three distinct comments which are to play important roles later in the movement. In the central movement, the violin follows the cello in a two-part canon, the piano responding with a consoling sequential phrase, and the process repeats in inversion. The emotional temperature rises in a more richly scored middle section, falls again as the canon is resumed. The seven-bar opening unison of the last movement establishes the harmonic basis for the eleven variations which follow. Variations 3, 4 and 5 form a triple variation in which piano, violin and cello in turn carry forward the semiquaver movement; 7 and 8, a double canonic variation. A brief but weighty coda brings the Trio to an end conclusively and without unnecessary ceremony.

from notes by Hugo Cole © 1988

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