Robert Plane and the Gould Trio

Church Stretton School

Mon Aug 6 | 7.30pm | £20 / £10

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Robert Plane and the Gould Trio

Robert Plane

 Plane’s clarinet has an eloquent and expressive voice. He can be clownish, rude, barracking and sneering; he can weep, simper and smarm; he can joke, cackle and cheer. He can also produce whispered tone from nothing, bite the air with a chisel edge, roar low down like a didgeridoo or soar with the pure white sound of a cathedral treble.  The Times
The clarinettist Robert Plane has a thriving international career as a concerto soloist and chamber player, and his discs are regularly played on Radio 3 and Classic FM. Robert has close partnerships with various leading chamber ensembles. His recording of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with the Gould Piano Trio was hailed by BBC Music Magazine as the ‘finest modern version’ of this monumental work. He has also collaborated with the Maggini, Dante, Auer, Carducci, Cavaleri, Brodsky, Skampa and Tippett Quartets. Robert has given concerts with the Mandelring Quartet in Germany, the UK and on a West Coast USA tour and a series of recitals in Switzerland with the Swiss Piano Trio. He has performed with pianist Sophia Rahman for music clubs and festivals throughout the UK and on tour in South America, China, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Robert Plane won the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition in London in 1992 and has since enjoyed a career encompassing solo and chamber work alongside holding the principal clarinet positions of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He has also played as a guest principal with the Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and in Aurora Orchestra’s recent memorized performances of Brahms’ First Symphony.

He is a successful recording artist and is particularly highly regarded for his solo recordings for Naxos. His account of Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto won Classic CD Magazine’s ‘Best Concerto Recording’ Award and was selected as BBC Radio 3’s recommended version in ‘Building a Library’, whilst his recording of Bax Sonatas was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award. Robert has played concertos with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Dortmund Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Ensemble in concert halls across Europe, from Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional and the Zurich Tonhalle to London’s Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall. He toured China as soloist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, including a performance at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, broadcast live to a TV audience of 6 million.

His appearance at our festival sees him with the Gould Piano Trio, a partnership going back over twenty years, including the recorded cycle of the complete trios of both Beethoven and Brahms; they also work together directing the Corbridge Chamber Music Festival in Northumberland.

 A highly accomplished, indeed commanding performance of Finzi’s gorgeous Clarinet Concerto from Robert Plane. With his bright, singing tone and effortless technical mastery, Plane leaves a stylish impression...  Gramophone

The Gould Piano Trio

Benjamin Frith is well known to us, having visited only last year, with his Frith Piano Quartet. He is joined by Lucy Gould (violin) and Alice Neary (cello)…

 The dramatic and poetic élan of the ensemble's exemplary balanced interpretation, even in extremely virtuoso passages, seemed incredible - an exceptionally vivid and mature interpretation.  Bergstrasser Anzeiger
Since winning the first prize at both the Premio Vittorio Gui in Florence and the inaugural Melbourne Chamber Music Competition, while being promoted in Europe and the United States as British “Rising Stars”, the Gould Piano Trio is now considered one of the finest of its kind performing today. Their widely diverse repertoire displays a strong stylistic conviction appreciated by audiences and critics alike. Concerts at major venues such as Wigmore and Carnegie Halls and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and tours of North and South America, Europe and the Far East have introduced them to a wide and varied public.

Their discography not only includes the renowned masterpieces of the repertoire but also many hidden gems, brought to life through an ongoing collaboration with clarinettist Robert Plane. Trio cycles by Brahms (Quartz), Hummel (Naxos) and Dvorak (Champs Hill) have been complemented by the late romantic works of Charles Villiers Stanford, John Ireland, Robin Milford, Cyril Scott and Arnold Bax, many of which are in world premiere recordings. A disc of contemporary works by Peter Maxwell Davies, Sally Beamish and James MacMillan (Champs Hill) was released in 2015 helping to bring British music to an international public. This year sees the release of Saint-Saens’ Trios, the Piano Quartets of Brahms and his friend Kirchner’s transcriptions of the master’s String Sextets for piano trio – another exciting rarity.

First-hand experience working with contemporary composers has led to the commissioning of many new works. They will celebrate their 25th anniversary year in 2017 with performances of a new commission from young British composer Mark Simpson, supported through Beyond Borders and the PRS for Music Foundation.

 after their splendid Mendelssohn recording, the Gould Trio return... the Trio don't hold back... yet are able to illuminate the score's subtler, delicate moments... the Gould Trio impress by their commitment, expertise and idiomatic understanding.  CD review, Gramophone
 All successful chamber groups and ensembles have that indefinable ‘second sight’ – the ability to play and listen as one, and to anticipate the next move, gesture or inflexion, but the Gould Trio achieves a rare oneness of expression and sound in their elegant transitions through Beethoven’s many compelling themes, variations and fertile, flourishing ideas.  The Quarterly Review

The Programme:

The ensemble will be performing a programme of chamber music including a Schubert Piano Trio, a new work specially written for the ensemble by Huw Watkins (‘Four Fables’) and Brahms’ magnificent, autumnal Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano.

[Picture credits: Jake Morley (pics 1-3); Chris Stock (pic 4)]