Angus McPherson
Limelight, Australia
April 2019

The Leonore Trio launches into this disc of Sir Hubert Parry’s first and third Piano Trios with a dramatic flourish, bringing out the appassionato of the First Trio’s opening. Parry’s Trios don’t get aired very often—the last time was the Deakin Trio’s releases on Meridian in the 1990s—and chamber music isn’t what first comes to mind when one thinks of the English composer.

But these are charming works, given well-deserved—and well-crafted—performances here for Hyperion by violinist Benjamin Nabarro, cellist Gemma Rosefield and pianist Tim Horton. The Molto vivace of Trio No 1 fizzes with effervescence, while the players bring earnest emotion to the slow movement and motoring intensity to the finale.

Parry’s Third Piano Trio was first performed in 1890 and, written a little over ten years after the First, was his final major piece of chamber music. This Trio forms the heart of the disc and in it we hear a more sophisticated handling of the genre. Following the drama of the first movement, the Capriccio dances beguilingly—it’s a highlight—but the slow movement is compelling. The Lento, originally conceived as a ‘lament’, shifts to a reflective mood, though it’s hardly funereal in the hands of the Leonore Trio, who lean into its lyricism before the joyous Finale.

Nabarro and Horton finish with Parry’s faux-baroque suite, Partita in D Minor, a string of encores to a worthwhile and overdue recording.

Limelight, Australia