We are delighted to announce that the Leonore Piano Trio’s debut recording for Hyperion was released earlier this month, featuring Anton Arensky’s two Piano Trios and the beautiful short composition by Rachmaninov, Vocalise. The disc has been receiving stunning reviews:
“The Leonore Trio do much to persuade us to listen anew to Arensky – too often dismissed as a lightweight Tchaikovsky – playing with sumptuous breadth and beguiling warmth in the first trio, and with appropriate seriousness of intent in the altogether graver second. Revelatory playing from Benjamin Nabarro, violin, Gemma Rosefield, cello, and Tim Horton, piano.”
“The Leonores play with truly glorious affection and security, and it is hard to imagine playing of a greater empathy. Balance (there is no artificial highlighting) and sound are ideal.”
“The Leonore Piano Trio offer an all-Arensky adventure [...] Masterly performance, handsomely recorded , with a range of tone-colours from pianist Tim Horton and a specially lovely lead back into the main melody of the F minor’s Romance from violinist Benjamin Nabarro”
BBC Music Magazine****
“These works make an admirable CD and one must applaud the performances of the Leonore ensemble in both, for it manages to capture their subtly varied essence and style ideally. The musicians here manage to hold the underlying pulse of the first movement of the D minor together without making it appear stiff or unnatural, at the same time as applying those myriad touches of refinement and expression without appearing contrived. In other words, in this difficult long movement (14 minutes) the attention is fully held, and in the succeeding three movements their playing is equally admirable – especially in the elegiac Adagio, where in the closing passage Gemma Rosefield’s cello tone is first-rate and in the finale displaying an admirable combination of varied emotional strengths and architectural expression. […] The Leonore Trio manages to extract an underlying vein of passionate commitment that sheds fresh light on the familiar, endlessly melodic line. The result is indeed fine.”
International Record Review ‘Outstanding’
“Britain’s Leonore Piano Trio is outstanding in the two Arensky Piano Trios (Hyperion CDA68015). Anton Arensky’s Piano Trio No.1 in D minor Op.32 was written in 1894 and, in keeping with the commemorative nature of the piano trio form established by Tchaikovsky some 12 years earlier, was conceived as a memorial to the cellist Karl Davidoff, the director of the St. Petersburg Conservatory during Arensky’s student days there. The cello consequently has a very prominent part in the Trio.
Pianist Tim Horton sets the stage with a beautiful opening; violinist Benjamin Nabarro adds a warm, sweet tone, especially in the lower register; and cellist Gemma Rosefield’s passionate playing leaves nothing to be desired. The Piano Trio in F Minor Op.73 dates from the early 1900s, not long before Arensky’s death in 1906 and at a time when the composer was in poor health. It’s another terrific work, and one that draws more outstanding playing from the Leonore ensemble.
Among Arensky’s pupils in his harmony class at the Moscow Conservatory was Sergei Rachmaninov, and the latter’s Vocalise is presented here in an arrangement by Rachmaninov’s friend Julius Conus, who was also one of Arensky’s students at the Conservatory. Everything about this outstanding CD is just right: the works themselves; the great ensemble playing; the interpretations; the excellent dynamics and phrasing; and the real passion and sensitivity displayed throughout. Add the excellent balance and sound quality, and it’s a real winner.”
For more information about the recording and to hear some excerpts, please visit Hyperion’s website here.