The final finale

Angell Piano Trio. Cratfield Church, July 26 It is well known that a career in chamber music is nothing if not precarious,yet it came as a shock to read in the printed programme for Sunday afternoon's recital that the Angell Piano Trio, whose excellent performances have delighted audiences for many years, is to disband.

Angell Piano Trio. Cratfield Church, July 26

It is well known that a career in chamber music is nothing if not precarious,yet it came as a shock to read in the printed programme for Sunday afternoon's recital that the Angell Piano Trio, whose excellent performances have delighted audiences for many years, is to disband. With cellist Richard May now based in Bristol, and the others in London, finding enough time to rehearse has become too difficult.

If the programme, presumably planned much earlier, did not include any of the greatest works of the genre, nevertheless it had plenty of variety.

First came a piece by the Swiss composer, Frank Martin, his Variations on Irish Folk Tunes.Its rhythmic vitality and imaginative writing were expertly conveyed by the Angell Trio, though most of the enjoyment of listening to the work came from hearing the beautiful Irish folk melodies played so sensitively.


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The high point of the recital came with the second piece, not a piano trio, but a duet for violin and cello by Kodaly. Written in 1914, this is early Kodaly: a large scale work in three movements, with the Hungarian folk idiom much in evidence. Utterly compelling from start to finish, with brilliant writing for both instruments, it was given a superb virtuoso performance by violinist Jan Peter Schmolk and cellist Peter May.

Finally, Mendelssohn's D Minor Piano Trio: beautiful music, beautifully played, though perhaps the occasion demanded something grander.

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Frank Cliff.

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