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Piano Trio

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Piano, violin, cello

Duration (approx)   12 minutes
Composed   2012
Publisher   Music Haven

Leasowes Bank Arts Festival with funds provided by Arts Council England.

First performance   25th July 2012
Venue   Leasowes Bank Farm, Shropshire
Conductor   Barbican Piano Trio: Sophie Lockett (violin), Robert Max (cello), James Kirby (piano)

Single movement


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.

Programme Notes

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.

Related News

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.

Works:  Piano Trio

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