SOMM Recordings is thrilled to announce Dance!, the debut recording by the Minerva Piano Trio, featuring seminal pieces by Stravinsky and Ravel alongside new works by two British composers, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Richard Birchall, and Pulitzer Prize-winning American, Caroline Shaw.
Formed in 2013 and acclaimed for their “immaculate technique… high degree of maturity, concentration, commitment and energy” by Classical Source, the Minerva Piano Trio – pianist Annie Yim, violinist Michał Ćwiżewicz, and cellist Richard Birchall – has earned glowing plaudits from audiences and critics alike, Arcana FM marking them as “an ensemble which is clearly going places”, Classical Source declaring “how lucky modern-day composers are to have such expert and sympathetic advocates”, The Times praising them for “the most beautiful sounds”.
Dance! features two ballet pieces by Stravinsky and Ravel, the former’s Pulcinella Suite arranged by the Minerva’s Richard Birchall, the latter’s Daphnis et Chloé heard in David Knott’s arrangement of three scenes that, says the Trio’s Annie Yim, illustrate “the discovery of love: innocence, awakening, touch, and passion”. Both arrangements are receiving first recordings.
Also making their debuts on disc are Birchall’s own Contours, described by Caroline Potter in her informative booklet notes as exploring “the notion and elastic meaning of its title in different ways”, and, in Annie Yim’s arrangement, Caroline Shaw’s Gustave Le Gray. Rooted in a Chopin Mazurka, it eloquently mimics its artist namesake’s facility for poetically layered voices and images.
Completing the recital is Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s My Fleeting Angel. Inspired by a short story about the dour, deadening domesticity of married life by the poet Sylvia Plath, Potter likens both composer and piece to Olivier Messiaen, hailing the work’s “logic and appealing sound world of its own” and Frances-Hoad as “a sound-colour synaesthete who associates specific colours with sounds”.
On This Recording
- Pulcinella Suite: I. Overture
- Pulcinella Suite: II. Serenata
- Pulcinella Suite: III. Allegro assai
- Pulcinella Suite: IV. Andante
- Pulcinella Suite: V. Presto
- Pulcinella Suite: VI. Fuga
- Pulcinella Suite: VII. Gavotta con due variazioni
- Pulcinella Suite: VIII. Minuetto e Finale
- Contours: I. Moderate
- Contours: II. Fast
- Contours: III. Nocturne - Adagio
- Contours: IV. Fast Waltz
- Gustave Le Gray
- My Fleeting Angel: I. Larghetto
- My Fleeting Angel: II. Allegro spiritoso e scherzando
- My Fleeting Angel: III. Allegretto eleganza
- Scenes from Daphnis et Chloe: I. Nocturne
- Scenes from Daphnis et Chloe: II. Pantomime
- Scenes from Daphnis et Chloe: III. Danse Guerriere
Igor Stravinsky (arr. Richard Birchall)*
Caroline Shaw (arr. Annie Yim)*
Maurice Ravel (arr. David Knots)*
* First Recordings