Preview | Albany Piano Trio

middle 37

middle 37

Classical ensemble, Albany Piano Trio will take to the stage next Sunday morning (19 October) as part of #thegirlsare weekend at the Forge. Pianist Pippa Harrison, violinist Gemma Sharples and cellist Verity Evanson will perform three pieces by women composers:

Judith Bingham Chapman’s Pool
Charlotte Bray Those Secret Eyes
Rebecca Clarke Piano Trio

Gemma tells us how and why they chose these particular composers and pieces…

‘We decided to base our programme around 20th Century British female composers because we feel like there is a huge amount of exciting music from this time and place that deserves to be heard more often. The three pieces in our programme are very different in style and atmosphere but all contain elements that mark them out as distinctly British, whether it is in the subject matter, the folk influences or the use of harmony. The core of the programme, and the longest work, is the Rebecca Clarke Trio, which we initially learnt for our ‘Women in Music’ festival back in July at the Royal College of Music. Rebecca Clarke was a British composer who had a very successful professional career as a viola player but whose compositions are only beginning to be given the attention that they deserve. She is increasingly being regarded as one of the most important British composers of the early 20th Century. We have grown to love performing the Clarke, it is a dramatic, virtuosic and a hauntingly powerful work. Written in 1921 the music is a reaction to World War One with the trio displaying ‎a machine gun like motif in different guises throughout. It has a lot of impressionist influences but also maintains a distinctly English feel.

We commissioned Charlotte Bray to compose a trio for us earlier this year. ‘Those Secret Eyes’ was premiered during our winter residency at the Banff centre and draws inspiration from the three witches of Macbeth. The music is scheming, brutal and menacing, sending shivers down our spines as we perform. It is wonderful to be able to perform a work by Charlotte who we know and whose music we admire. We’ve learnt Chapman’s Pools by Judith Bingham especially for this concert. Bingham is a well-known British composer and these four miniatures are beautifully evocative of the English landscape and sea. The trio follows an old map of the Isle of Purbeck, not a true island, but rather a peninsula in Dorset. We loved the titles of each work (‘Chapman’s Pool’ and the ‘Hale Bop Commet’). In contrast to the Clarke and Bray, the music is much more immobile and transculent. The trio is a work of pure imagination and the listener can take what they like from the haunting, luminous music.’

The Albany Piano Trio perform at the Forge, Camden Sunday 19 October 11am as part of #thegirlsare weekend (details here).


Rosie Hanley

Follow Rosie on Twitter – @roseannehanley

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