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Lennox Berkeley

Publisher: Chester Music

String Trio (1943)
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
String Trio
Year Composed
17 Minutes

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Programme Note
Lennox Berkeley String Trio (1943)
Sir Lennox Berkeley wrote his String Trio in 1943 and it is dedicated to Frederick Grinke, Watson Forbes and James Phillips.

The work falls into three separate movements all of which show a debt to classical formal procedures. The first is a well-defined sonata form, with a second subject in 5 / 8, in which rhythmic interest is to the fore, to contrast with the languid lyricism of the opening 4/4. The second movement is a simple ternary form and the third is a rumbustious rondo which contains several repetitions of the main theme in various guises, with a contrasting slow section before the climatic coda.

While there exists in the String Trio a tinge of the French influence that Sir Lennox found under the tuition of Nadia Boulanger and also ample evidence of his respect for composers of the past (especially Mozart), the voice is unique. The writing emphasises his remarkable ability to achieve a bitter-sweet, most approachable lyricism whilst maintaining with unfailing clarity rich contrapuntal interest.

James Rushton

  • 16 MAR 2013
    Dundee Congregational Church
    Pro Musica String Trio
  • 07 JUN 2008
    University of York, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York
    Nash Ensemble
  • 12 APR 2008
    All Saints Church, Ilkley, Yorkshire
    The Chamber Players
  • 28 MAR 2008
    Upton upon Severn Memorial Hall, Malvern Hills,Worcs
    London Mozart Players Chamber Ensemble

    Other Dates:
    29 March - Avoncroft Museum, Guesten Hall, Bromsgrove
    30 March - Claybrooke Village Hall, Lutterworth, Leics
    1 April - Welton le Wold, St. Martin's Church, East Lindsey
    2 April - Halam, St. Michael's Church, Newark & Sherwood
    3 April - Appleby Magna, Sir John Moore Foundation, Leics
    4 April - Scotton Village Hall, Gainsborough
    5 April - Countesthorpe Village Hall, Blaby
    6 April - Thurgarton Village Hall, Newark & Sherwood
  • 28 APR 2007
    South Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury, USA
    Adaskin String Trio
  • 12 JAN 2007
    Maconchy Centenary 2007
    Bromsgrove Concerts, The Artix, Bromsgrove
    Monpellier String Trio
  • 12 JAN 2007
    The Artrix, Bromsgrove, Birmingham
    Montpelier String Trio
  • 26 JUN 2006
    Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton University, NJ
    Adaskin String Trio
  • 07 AUG 2004
    Three Choirs Festival 2004
    St Mary de Lode, Gloucester
    Nash Emsemble

...the String Trio by Lennox Berkeley, elegantly civilised in its witty, well-paced discussions between violinist, cellist and viola.
Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post,15/01/2007
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