Sunday 9th October, 3.00pm
Little Missenden Church
Spirit of Haydn
|Franz Joseph Haydn||Piano Trio no 32 in A major Hob XV:18|
|Rob Keeley||Piano Trio no 2 (world premiere)|
|Johannes Brahms||Piano Trio no 1 in B major op8|
Haydn’s delectable A major trio fizzes with playfulness, sparkling wit, elegance and melodic invention. His creative genius had been matured and enriched by time spent in London, rather than his earlier cloistered world of Eszterháza.
Getting the instrumental balance right is tricky for piano trios, but Rob Keeley says “the challenge of making the intimate and above all immediate medium of the piano trio ‘glow’ as it were, is for me the raison d’être of composing”. He hopes “the spirit of Haydn might be detected hovering benignly” in this trio, written specifically for the Aquinas, who give us this premiere.
The powerful and romantic Brahms trio is almost symphonic in scale, a cornerstone of the repertoire. To musicologist Richard Specht it reveals “the whole twenty-year-old composer with all his inner stress, his fullness of heart, his ardent longing; all the apprehension, pride, restraint and expectation of a soul in flower.” Its four expansive movements give full rein to its many rich themes and ideas. The piece ends unusually in the minor, casting a dark shadow back over the whole. Brahms clearly had affection for this piece, since he was moved to revise it nearly 40 years later.
Formed in 2009, the Aquinas Trio is already one of the UK’s most impressive ensembles, with an outstanding array of awards and achievements. All three players are solo artists in their own right.
“The Aquinas Trio rejoiced in these cherishable scores with a symphonic sweep and an insatiable forward momentum” (The Strad)