Gould Piano Trio

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Beauty of string tone is always a major attraction. But much of the enjoyment of piano trios comes from the ever-varying balance of power between the three instruments.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Beauty of string tone is always a major attraction. But much of the enjoyment of piano trios comes from the ever-varying balance of power between the three instruments. Noting the changes was a particular pleasure with the celebrated Gould Trio, with the violin played by Lucy Gould, the piano by Benjamin Frith and the cello by Alice Neary, who added a personal dimension with facial mime and the tossing of her head.

A Trio by Haydn, a late work, but one in which the cello was only beginning to win independence, opened the programme with wit as well as charm and some moments of high spirits.

In his famous Dumky Trio, Dvorak treats the three performers more democratically, allowing each moments in the sun. The spirit of the music was less aristocratic too, offering striking contrasts with echoes of folk dancers as well as moments when hearts were worn on sleeves.

Arnold Bax, again making a most welcome appearance in the festival, was represented by his highly demanding and emotionally charged B flat Trio of 1946. There will be a chance to listen to this rewarding recital when a recording is broadcast by BBC Radio 3 at 1pm on Friday, June 6.

t The Gould Piano Trio performed at the John Innes Centre on the outskirts of Norwich.

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