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S & H Recital Review

BEETHOVEN Op 70/1 & SMETANA Op 15 in G minor Gould Piano Trio Purcell Room, SBC London, 25 April 2002 (PGW)

The South Bank lunchtime concerts at the Purcell Room are well patronised and this was an intensive hour's music making of the highest quality. The Smetana trio, composed after the death of his young daughter, is of scarifying intensity, a cry of pain which often seems to be bursting the bounds of the trio format. Beethoven's Ghost trio made an apt companion for it, and left us fully nourished. The Gould Trio (Lucy Gould, Alice Neary & Benjamin Frith) is of international calibre and its three players, each very individual, are adept at the give and take which is the essence of chamber music conversation, each knowing when to recede temporarily into an accompanying role. A great deal always depends on the pianist of a piano trio, and Benjamin Frith is as impressive in steering without seeming to, and the tone and balance they achieved in the (not always easy) Purcell Room was ideal..

Their CD of the Smetana Trio with Beethoven's Archduke (gentler and more expansive than the Ghost) is fully recommendable, recorded on the Gould Trio's own label in a suitable acoustic at Potton Hall in Suffolk, can be ordered from

Peter Grahame Woolf



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