This article by David Wright has been removed.
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
Frenchmans 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 composers 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.