Music Discoveries by Trio B3 Classic
Since its formation in 1992 this trio of clarinet, cello and piano is one of the few stable, consolidated and well-known ensembles of this kind in Europe, and a reference in the present day musical panorama in Spain. “B3 Classic” draw attention to the history of the chamber music repertoire for these three instruments (they undertake valuable and creative investigative work) as well as involving itself in the more contemporary creation. Such fruits can be seen in the present disc – especially the recuperation of a wonderful romantic trio of Kahn (legacy of Brahms), and their championing of the English composers Jonathan S. FeBland and Rodney Newton. Their attitude has fully impressed Warner Music (Spain) who offer them future recordings.
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|Trio in G Minor, Op. 45 Robert Kahn (1865-1951)|
|Allegretto, quasi Andantino|
|English Suite Jonathan S. FeBland (b. 1960)|
|Suite 'World of the Sea' Rodney Newton (b. 1945)|
|07||Wind and Waves|
|08||Sea Birds over the Coast|
|09||Morning at Sea|
|13||Before the Mast|
|14||Adagio Jorge Grundman Isla (b. 1961)|
|15||Fantasy and Dance David Johnstone (b. 1959)|
CHAMBER MUSIC DISCOVERIES
Throughout the history of music we can appreciate that chamber music has been the field where a great number of outstanding composers have expressed themselves more freely. In some cases, chamber music has been a sphere of experimentation, and also a place where the composer has shown his real being. As the composer Hans Werner Henze wrote, “the meaning of chamber music lays in its ability to achieve the ineffable through intimacy. Chamber music conceives itself as a world of sound with external limits, but not with internal ones”.
In the intimacy of chamber music, the composer seems to speak to us honestly, in an unprejudiced way, with nothing to prove to us –and to himself-. Chamber music is expression in its pure state. Obviously, this has not always been the case, but some examples, such as the two string quartets by Beethoven and Shostakovich, the String Quartet by Verdi, the Trio with piano by Tchaikovsky or the Quintet with piano, op. 44 by Schumann could easily support this statement. In fact, Wagner, who attended one of the first performances of this last piece, wrote to Schumann: “I can see the path you intend to follow, and I can assure you it is also mine. Beauty is the only possibility of salvation”.
Well, in these pieces performed by the Trio B3 Classic, we will find authenticity in the expression and a clear wish to create beauty.
Kahn: Trio in G minor, op. 45 (1906)
This composition is aesthetically related with Brahms and Zelimsky’s trios. Formally elaborate and calm, it is a magnificent example of the so-called romantic classicism, whose most remarkable representative is Brahms. The poetic inspiration of its melodies reminds us that Kahn was an extraordinary and prolific lieder composer.
The first movement, Allegro, is written in the form of a sonata, and it alternates very lyric episodes with a great rhythmical momentum. Kahns’s talent for melody is seen from the very beginning of this ambitious Allegro, as typically it develops brilliantly without losing its poetic and lyric expression.
Then an Allegretto quasi andantino comes in the form of one of these charming intermezzi by Brahms. The atmosphere of the first movement remains in this second movement, but with a more intense lyricism which never becomes dramatic. The end, a Presto of symphonic inspiration and proportions, is based on themes originated from brief motives.
S. FeBland: English Suite (2007)
The English Suite shows FeBland’s
craftsmanship, as well as a lighthearted, even ironical atmosphere,
which contrives throughout the piece.
The second movement, Allegro, is a very short scherzo which contrasts with the serenity of the previous fragment. Some parts in this allegro are very well outlined, in the way of the classic scherzos, where the rhythmical character of the scherzo itself opposes the calm, even nostalgic feeling common in the trios. Such is the case of this fragment. The Finale begins with a brief and slow introduction –Adagio- which announces the bright Allegro which will put the end to this composition. This allegro sums up the humorous atmosphere of the first movement and the vitality of the second one, with a brief and vague reference to some music known by the listener, who feels closer to the composer.
Newton: Suite “World of the Sea” (1994)
The Suite “World of the Sea”, with seven movements, is a group of truly musical paintings evoking sea landscapes. These pieces are reminiscent of similar works of English composers such as Elgar and Vaughan Williams, but we can also find some impressionist influence and a refreshing jazz flavor in it. This free form -not a formless one- suite turns out to be utterly attractive because of its harmonies, which sometimes support brief, almost fleeting but very effective melodies.
The last one of these seven pieces, Before the Mast, is a sort of a summary of the whole. Interestingly, the connection among the pieces derives from the atmosphere they share, rather than from the melody.
Grundman: Adagio for clarinet, cello and piano (2005)
His Adagio for clarinet, cello and piano was originally composed for oboe, viola and piano, and then transcribed for oboe, cello and piano. Under David’s request, Grundman arranged a new version for clarinet, cello and piano, which is the one featured in this CD.
This unmistakably tonal work opens with a beautiful cello and clarinet duet, which is the base of the counterpoint of the piano throughout the second part of the composition. After this brief initial duet, the peaceful beauty of the piano sounds. The rest of the instruments join the solo piano, and the music comes to an end, which can only be silence. “The only intention of this piece is to please the senses”, claims the composer. And he truly achieves it.
Johnstone: Fantasy and Dance (1997)
Fantasy and Dance originates in the soundtrack composed by Johnstone for an animated film called Dr Vesalius. The different sections that integrate this piece come together for the sake of the whole. But, as the title reads, there is a clear difference between “fantasy” and “dance”. In fact, the dance, called the Dance of the skeletons, is the core of the piece, and it repeats time and again, contrasting with the rest of the themes included in the piece.
This delightful piece puts an end to a CD which for a moment can make our lives happier.
The Non Profit Music Foundation
The Non Profit Music Foundation is born as an answer to the presence of classical music today in the world, the gradual decrease of pupils at the highest levels in music schools, the lack of motivation from the audience to assist to performances of classical music (chamber music can be an example) and the loss of sensibility towards social and humanitarian action. The Non Profit Music Foundation believes that is possible to create initiatives that help to solve these deficiencies in our society and, even, that these initiatives can work in a combined way. The activities of the Non Profit Music Foundation then, will be directed towards strengthening and divulging music culture and, at the same time, sensitizing people to solidarity and obtain funds for social and humanitarian actions. The Non Profit Music Foundation maintains too a recording activity in order to divulge contemporary music, helping new creators to be better known and seeking the awareness of humanitarian causes. The record label gives all the profits made by the sell of its publications to Non Government Organizations that select the creators, in a transparent way due all the accounts are audited by the same NGOs. If you are interested in the biographic details and projects of B3 Classic, the Non Profit Music Orchestra or the Non Profit Music Foundation, you can visit: www.b3classic.com and www.nonprofitmusic.org
TECHNICAL DETAILS, CREDITS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Produced by Non Profit Music
Musical Production: Javier Monteverde
Credits and Acknowledgements
|Instruments:||Trio: Clarinet, Cello & Piano|
|Our Ref:||A0187 (Johnstone Music Cat. No. JM 51 CD)|
|MCPS:||5144255012 (WE 833 LC4281)|
|Label:||Warner Music Spain|
Clarinet: Joan Borràs
Since its formation in 1992 this trio of clarinet, cello and piano is one of the few stable, consolidated and well-known ensembles of this kind in Europe, and a reference in the present day musical panorama in Spain. “B3 Classic” draw attention to the history of the chamber music repertoire for these three instruments (they undertake valuable and creative investigative work) as well as involving itself in the more contemporary creation. The personal style of B3 Classic lays emphasis on an unusual sound combination by combining the piano with a string instrument (the cello) and a wind instrument (the clarinet), and the group actively promote the full history, largely yet unknown, of the chamber music repertoire for these three instruments. The group initially received the support and guidance of international figures such as Boris Bermann, Jesse Levine, Carles Riera and John McCabe CBE. In 1995 they participated in a recording with the ‘La Caixa’ Foundation and the record label ‘Opus 111’ of Paris. Since then they have given regular concerts across all Spain and in other countries of the European Union.
B3 Classic received important success in the International Music Competition ‘Pierre Lantier’ of Paris where they were awarded a Grand Prix in 1997. In 1998 they visit Great Britain for the first time where concerts included the Cheltenham International Music Festival, and they also give the world premiere of the Suite “The World of the Sea” of Rodney Newton in London. In Spain they have given many national and international premieres including the ‘Sonata for Trio’ by John McCabe C.B.E., the trio ‘Autumn Journeys’ and ‘Six Pieces’ by Martín Zalba, works by Jonathan FeBland, Rodney Newton, Enrique Aragon, Jorge Grundman Isla, Jorge Garcia del Valle etc. and have enthusiastically recuperated historically important trios by E. Hartmann, P. Juon, A. Eberl, A. Gyrowetz, Ries, and Archduke Rudolf.
B3 Classic have recorded for Warner Music Spain, Spanish National Radio (RNE Radio Clásica), Nice International Festival (France), The London Film Institute, Köln Rundfunk, Association Mozart Productions (France), Arlu Discos (Madrid), Julian Roberts Productions (Great Britain), four programmes of the series ‘Nocturnos’ for television ‘Tele 5’ (Spain), and a series of four concerts ‘The change of century in chamber music’ for National Spanish Television (TVE).
Their versatility shows itself in original compositions by each member and high quality transcriptions made collectively by the artists of the group – examples include works such as ‘Trio Concertante’ on West Side Story (Bernstein/B3 Classic) or ‘Popular Miniature Suite’ on ‘Porgy and Bess’ (Gershwin/B3 Classic). They are also open to other musical fields – for example, their participation in the festival “Actual” of Logroño (Spain), their collective work together on the CD ‘Entre Dos Mundos’ with the ‘Swinging Strings’ of the Basque National Orchestra (San Sebastian), or the concerts with the multi-stylistic guitarist Gualberto of Seville. Their notable career together has brought them accolades such as what the prestigious Spanish classical music magazine Ritmo said of them: “Not only do they enjoy making music together but the artistic results are brilliant”.
The trio ‘B3 Classic’ offers the public an ample repertoire: single performances featuring the outstanding works of the repertoire, special ‘theme’ concerts, special composer dedication concerts, well-conceived concerts put together as a series or cycle, educational concerts (in Spanish and English), etc.
|Contact Details||B3 Classic|
Cello and Piano Trio ‘B3 Classic’
P.O. Box 7003
|Telephone||(0034) 629.530.533 / (0034) 184.108.40.206|
|Fax||(0034) 948 – 35.18.69|
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