Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence


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This item will be released on 21 October, 2022.
Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0658
Release Date: 21/10/2022
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871065826
Composers: , , , ,
Period: ,
Liner Notes

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

    Igor Stravinsky (arr. Richard Birchall)*

  1. Pulcinella Suite: I. Overture
  2. Pulcinella Suite: II. Serenata
  3. Pulcinella Suite: III. Allegro assai
  4. Pulcinella Suite: IV. Andante
  5. Pulcinella Suite: V. Presto
  6. Pulcinella Suite: VI. Fuga
  7. Pulcinella Suite: VII. Gavotta con due variazioni
  8. Pulcinella Suite: VIII. Minuetto e Finale
  9. Richard Birchall*

  10. Contours: I. Moderate
  11. Contours: II. Fast
  12. Contours: III. Nocturne - Adagio
  13. Contours: IV. Fast Waltz
  14. Caroline Shaw (arr. Annie Yim)*

  15. Gustave Le Gray
  16. Cheryl Frances-Hoad

  17. My Fleeting Angel: I. Larghetto
  18. My Fleeting Angel: II. Allegro spiritoso e scherzando
  19. My Fleeting Angel: III. Allegretto eleganza
  20. Maurice Ravel (arr. David Knots)*

  21. Scenes from Daphnis and Chloe: I. Nocturne
  22. Scenes from Daphnis and Chloe: II. Pantomime
  23. Scenes from Daphnis and Chloe: III. Danse Guerriere

* First Recordings