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JOAN TRIMBLE (1915-2000)

Dr. David C.F. Wright

This article by David Wright has been removed.

Obituary Irish Times

JOAN TRIMBLE: Two Pianos - Songs and chamber Music   Various Artists  Marco Polo Irish Composer Series. 8.225059



Enniskillen-born Joan Trimble (1915-) studied at the Royal Irish Academy and, later , at the RCM and is best remembered for her two-piano partnership with her sister Valerie - a famed duo which remained in being over 30 years. Joan, however, has always had a talent for composition and it is good to have this well recorded CD which gives a fair sample of her work (which also includes an opera for TV and a fairly recent Wind Quintet). Naturally enough, music for two pianos, skilfully played here by Una Hunt and Roy Holmes, looms large in the CD.

We begin with three Irish folksongs in arrangements whose exuberance recalls Percy Grainger; many of the other two-piano pieces have an Irish flavour, too, even if they are not folk arrangements as such: Buttermilk Point, a reel, The Bard of Lisgoole and the "hop-jig" The Humours of Carrick, all among the earliest pieces written for the Trimble duo (for which Arthur Benjamin composed Jamaican Rumba); and even the delicious short tone poems Puck Fair and The Green Bough. Less Irish, yet still attractive, are the mildly astringent Sonatina and Pastorale-Hommage à F. Poulenc, inspired maybe by the Frenchman’s Movements Perpetuels. The Phantasy Trio performed by the Dublin Piano Trio, is rhapsodic and rich in harmony, very much in the English (or should that be British?) pastoral tradition, still strong in 1940. The song cycle The County Mayo was written for that fine Irish baritone Robert Irwin, whom I remember with pleasure; Joe Corbett does well in it here. It is unusual in having a two piano accompaniment and it is a measure of the composer’s skill that mostly it sounds rich rather than merely thick. Three other songs are pleasantly sung by mezzo Patricia Bardon. The well-produced booklet prints the words of all seven songs and all in all this is a disc well-worth exploring. Trimble is to a considerable degree a "light music" composer, but is none the worse for that.


Phil Scowcroft

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