Your guide to classical music online

Hubert Parry’s Obscure-Yet-Worthy Piano Trios

Jed Distler

Artistic Quality:

Sound Quality:

Hubert Parry (1848-1918) may not have written the most original late-Romantic piano trios around, yet one cannot deny his first-rate craftsmanship and ability to wring the most out of his material. In Parry’s E minor trio, the Leonore Piano Trio members dive into the Allegro appassionato’s soaring interval leaps and neo-Brahmsian rhythmic interplay at full force, while giving eloquent voice to the music’s lyrical contrasts. The Molto vivace’s can-can-like outer sections convey similar gusto, while the musicians play the bordering-on-schmaltz Trio with just the right dose of curvaceous affection. The Adagio proves more interesting in the delicate high-lying passages than in the relatively ponderous loud climaxes. However, each player clearly revels in the Allegro giocoso finale’s inventive and sometimes unpredictable piano/strings interplay.

If anything, the G major Trio (unpublished during Parry’s lifetime, but edited by Parry scholar Jeremy Dibble, who also wrote this release’s superb booklet notes) is a more concise and sophisticated work, and the Leonore Trio responds in turn. Violinist Benjamin Nabarro’s vibrato at the start of the second-movement Allegretto is a little fulsome for my taste, yet he and pianist Tim Horton toss the rapid passages back and forth with expert dovetailing and conversational ease.

Filling out the disc is Parry’s D minor Partita for violin and piano, a work rooted in baroque dance forms that might be described as Handel rewritten by Elgar. Nabarro and Horton give a fine performance, and bring special vigor and snap to the frequent dotted-rhythm motives. Kudos to these musicians for continuing to explore the piano trio repertoire’s obscure yet worthy nether regions with their customary care and commitment.



Buy Now from Arkiv Music

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: This one

  • PARRY, HUBERT:
    Piano Trio No. 1 in E minor (1877); Piano Trio No. 3 in G major (1890); Partita in D minor for violin & piano (1886)
  • Record Label: Hyperion - 68243
  • Medium: CD

Search Music Reviews

Search Sponsor

  • Insider Reviews only
  • Click here for Search Tips

Visit Our Merchandise Store

Visit Store
  • Mozart At Hallgrímskirkja
    Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland; May 21, 2023—The Reykjavik church known as Hallgrímskirkja, like most of Iceland unlike anything you’ve seen before, itself prepares you for experiencing
  • Simon McBurney’s Embracing “Flute” At The Met
    Metropolitan Opera House, New York; May, 2023—If you’ve been to the Metropolitan Opera in the last 40 years to experience Mozart’s great Die Zauberflöte, you
  • “Death of Classical” Presents John Tavener Among The Tombs
    Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y.; May 26, 2023—Impresario Andrew Ousley’s “Death of Classical” continues apace. It is a quite marvelous concept wherein Classical Music and occasionally,