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Piano Trios
Ensemble Detail(s)
Grieg Trio
Label name
Simax Classics
Recording year

Work Title


The unique selling point of this enterprising Simax release is the first recording of a Piano Trio from 2002 by the Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. […] If you took a boat towards Norway from the composer’s Orkney island of Sanday, only a small detour would allow a brief stopover on tiny Fair Isle. A trip he himself once made, to stimulating effect: the discovery that (a) remoteness is no barrier to acceptance of the new, and (b) the existence of a fiddle tradition there seems to have been one catalyst for this splendidly coherent and tightly organised new piece, subtitled A Voyage to Fair Isle. It is a highly varied 20-minute single movement, full of musical interest, even surprises. Malcolm MacDonald’s helpful notes concentrate on the form and find elements of a large-scale if unpredictable sonata structure: intriguingly, conspicuous at the work’s centre stands a Shetland-style quasi-folk violin cadenza (later transformed by the cello). It’s a thoroughly convincing work, from its slow build-up, right through to its quicksilver conclusion. Chamber music has always seemed to me to suit Maxwell Davies’s ideas admirably, and this is surely one of the stronger of his most recent works.
Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review, 9/1/2006

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