The Emanuel Ensemble - a flexible chamber group - here present an enticing recital programme for flute, ʻcello & piano, showcasing the undoubted talents of these three acclaimed young players.
The brilliant ʻcellist Louisa Tuck is the youngest Principal of any UK orchestra, and in addition to the Trio repertoire on this disc she also performs Schumannʼs Adagio & Allegro for ʻcello & piano, with the sought-after young pianist John Reid. Requiring considerable virtuosity in the concluding portion, and a projection of dreamy Romantic feeling in the opening, this work is of a perfect two-part structure.
Anna Stokes, a much in-demand flautist, takes the solo role too, in Borneʼs bravura Fantasie Brilliante, composed on themes from Bizetʼs Carmen - its high point the increasingly flashy variations on the celebrated Habenera theme.
This exuberant CD opens with Piazollaʼs La muerte del Angel, and its decisive, thrusting climax sets up the rest of the disc. Gaubertʼs souful Piece Romantique (also written for the CDʼs central combination of flute, ʻcello and piano) has a lyric charm and an eventide contentment; in stark contrast to the joyous Trio by Nikolai Kapustin.
Seemingly improvisatory, this three-movement piece works out its themes thoroughly and fantastically, with walking basses, hypnotic ostinatos, and ʻsolo spotsʼ for each instrument. In turns languidly nostalgic and capricious, this jazz-based Trio is one of the most popular works of Kapustinʼs output, and rounds off with an insouciant and irresistible display of animal vitality.
As Louise Farrencʼs work is being rediscovered, it looks as though she may have been the most important female composer of the first half of the 19th century. Her Trio in E minor, performed by the Emanuel Ensemble for this recital, is written in full classical sonata form, showing considerable contrapuntal artistry. The work concludes in effervescent high spirits, bringing proceedings to a close in high good humour.
“this excellent group...offers a generously wide range of 19th- and 20th-century music, much of it unfamiliar, all of it diverting...it is Astor Piazzolla who is chosen to provide the unpredictable final item for this enterprising recital...and makes a memorable close to a highly stimulating programme, impeccably played and recorded.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011