Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post, 3rd August 2012
[Review of premiere at Leasowes Bank Farm] The Piano Trio by James Francis Brown, always a composer who grips the listener's engagement, combines subtle structural cohesion with leaping, dancing lyricism reminiscent of Tippett (whose life-enhancing music why aren't we hearing these days? - fashion has a lot to answer for). A busy piano part acts sometimes as continuo, at other times as a suave partner, as in the ruminative central colloquy between itself and cello. Twelve minutes in length (but with an ending which might require more definition), this would provide a welcome filler in a programme of the usual suspect repertoire piano trios - which would be much thanked.
My first encounters with the great classical trios by Beethoven and Schubert, in particular, were joyful experiences.
Both as a genre and a physical ensemble the piano trio was an important part of my student life when friendships were
formed and the happy discovery of music was shared.
I wanted to recapture this sociable spirit and instrumental vitality in my own piano trio. Being in one movement, it
required a sense of completeness - to avoid the feeling that it ought to be followed by other movements. To achieve this,
the first subject group, consisting of three distinct ideas, is in common time. The second subject group, also of three ideas,
is in a more dance-like compound time. The intention is to fuse the typical drive and directness of the classical first movement
with the generous, rondo-like spirit of a finale.
There is no lengthy development section. A recitative-like exchange between piano and cello leads into a remote
statement of the second idea in the first subject before the rather unassuming entry of the recapitulation. The ideas are heard
in the same order but the developmental section from the first subject is omitted. The work concludes with a spirited coda which
favours the compound-time as the final word.
Performances: Piano Trio on Tour with Barbican Piano Trio
Wednesday 10th October 2012 -- The Red Hedgehog, Highgate
Thursday 11th October 2012 -- Central Hall, Grimsby
Thursday 24 January 2013 -- The Osprey Music Society
Friday 25 January 2013 7.30 -- Dumfries Music Club, St John the Evangelist, Newall Terrace, Dumfries
Saturday 26th January 2013 at 7.30pm -- Music Nairn, Nairn Community & Arts Centre, Nairn, Scotland
Sunday 27 January 2013, 3.00 pm -- Deeside Theatre, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Saturday 9th February -- Stamford Arts Centre, Lincolnshire
Works: Piano Trio
World Premiere: Piano Trio
Wednesday 25th July 2012
Leasowes Music Festival will host the premiere of James Francis Brown's Piano Trio. Commissioned by the Festival, the new work will be performed by the highly acclaimed Barbican Piano Trio.
Barbican Piano Trio | Leasowes Bank Farm, Shropshire
Works: Piano Trio