The Piano Tuner: piano trios from Scotland

Storytelling takes centre stage in the Fidelio Trio’s second recording for Delphian, in which they are joined by Alexander McCall Smith, who narrates Sally Beamish’s evocative The Seafarer Trio with a mingled intimacy and plangency. The comparatively abstract sounds of Nigel Osborne’s The Piano Tuner track a journey into the dark heart of nineteenth-century Burma, while the stories told in Judith Weir’s Zen-inspired Piano Trio Two include that of ‘How grass and trees become enlightened’.

"Deep research and fierce musical intelligence underpin this project... Director Geoffrey Webber gets a robust and highly musical reading from his Cambridge vocalists.


"Beamish combin[es] words and music in a direct and often confrontational manner...the overall impression remains one of elements that complement each other at a remove: the music tending to form an atmospheric yet often distanced backdrop to the magisterial text...a thought-provoking release"

"poignant poetic expression goes hand in hand with tough counterpoint, making [Osborne's] work alluring to heart and mind. Sally Beamish’s The Seafarer Trio (2000) opens the recital. It’s a hypnotic, meditative work, enhanced here by the restrained but resonant tones of the reciter...The fine Fidelio Trio plays each piece with deft understanding of its aesthetic stance."

"A CD of contemporary piano trios from Scotland might seem a slightly forbidding prospect; it turns out to be as bracing as a splash of water from a highland stream...This kind of music is food and drink to the Fidelio Trio and it gives sure-footed, rhythmically alive, directly communicative performances of all three works"

"Webber and the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge with Magnus Williamson remind us of the riches of the Lost Palace of Westminster. The sound of that reconstructed 16th-century chamber organ adds a highly distinctive character to the sound. And the speculative interweaving of voices and organ feels perfectly plausible. The recording is impeccable."

Producer: Paul Baxter
Release Date: 8 November 2010
Catalogue No: DCD34084
Total playing time: 0:57:24

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