Leonore Piano Trio

Parry: Piano Trios Nos 1 & 3; Partita for Violin and Piano

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The Parry works here have rarely been recorded, even in Britain, and this release by the Leonore Piano Trio easily passes the basic test: Are you happy the music has been revived? The Piano Trio No. 3 in G major, of 1889-1893, was not even published during Parry's lifetime, but it and the first trio have engaging slow movement with a good deal to chew on formally. The models for the trio are Brahms and Schumann, with the former especially evident in the rhythmically involved outer movements of the Piano Trio No. 1, but Parry's music has a flavor of its own. The strongest of the three works is the almost unknown Partita in D minor for violin and piano. Again, Brahms' flirtations with Baroque style were the apparent impetus, but Parry goes further and creates a little Romantic counterpart to a Baroque French suite, with his melodic impulse chopped down nicely to fit a just slightly expanded formal structure. The work does not sound precisely like anything else out there; it rewards multiple hearings, and you might start with a sample of the "Passepied en rondo." The Leonore Piano Trio plays beautifully and catches the slightly fanciful quality of Parry's works. They are not helped by Hyperion's church acoustic, which loses some intimacy, but this is a sleeper recommended to any lover of British music of Romantic chamber music.

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