Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA66695

Trio for horn, violin and piano


Richard Watkins (horn), Pauline Lowbury (violin), Christopher Green-Armytage (piano)
Recording details: December 1993
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: June 1994
Total duration: 18 minutes 12 seconds


‘The performances are exceptionally fine. Top flight recordings too … I shouldn't like to put [Hyperion's] Simpson CDs into a strict order of recommendation but, if pushed, I would have to place this one near the top’ (Gramophone)

‘These are most impressive pieces, and the performances are completely dedicated and highly imaginative. Excellent recording too’ (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

‘Another mandatory instalment in Hyperion's magnificent series of Simpson recordings’ (CDReview)

«Une interprétation délicate, sensible et chaleureuse» (Répertoire, France)
Robert Simpson's Horn Trio was commissioned by the Festival Trio of London (Frank Lloyd, Carol Slater and Anthony Halstead) with funds provided by The Arts Council of Great Britain. It was completed in September 1984, shortly before Simpson began work on his Ninth Symphony.

The composer stresses that this work is conceived very much as a 'genuine trio', despite the fact that the characteristic qualities of all three instruments are always respected. None dominates. Hence textural clarity predominates, consisting sometimes of just three or four contrapuntal voices. As is typical of Simpson's later music, the substance of the Trio evolves naturally from the power inherent in the basic intervals. Here minor thirds are significant, as well as semitonal clashes, usually created by contrapuntal lines crossing each other. Like the Sonata for Two Pianos (1980), the Horn Trio plays without a break but adopts a three-movement pattern — fast-slow-fast.

The opening movement (Allegro con brio) drives forward with great momentum, whilst allowing some space for some mysterious elements to pervade the music. There is, however, a more relaxed theme, a duet between horn and violin, that appears at the corresponding place where a second subject might be expected, though this Allegro does not adhere to sonata form. This more lyrical idea prevails in the closing stages of the Allegro and acts as a tragical transition into the central slow movement, Tranquillo. Simpson's contrapuntal mastery is strongly evident here; the music is peacefully flowing and contemplative, with only one brief episode of tension in the middle.

Polyphony also dominates the final Allegro which is heralded by some pattering semiquaver figurations on the piano. The composer once described this movement as having 'something of the character of a blunt Scherzo.' As with the finale of the Brahms Horn Trio, immense stamina is required from all players, particularly in the final stages where the music advances with trenchant energy towards a bold, decisive triadic conclusion.

from notes by Matthew Taylor © 1994

Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...