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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, July 2015

…the Gould Piano Trio…really shines in these works, and you won’t go wrong with this recent 2014 recording. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Paul L. Althouse
American Record Guide, May 2015

These performances by the Gould Trio plus a violist are very good and bring the music to life. Tempos all feel well chosen and comfortable. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, April 2015

The Gould Piano Trio with violist David Adams in the Quartet are clearly well prepared and astutely capture the innate charm of these works. I was stuck by the outstanding playing—consistently engaging, always intelligent and constantly assured. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, April 2015

It’s more than three years since the previous Standford volume from this superb group: they clearly love this music, and it’s a joyous listen to place alongside its equally fine predecessors. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Malcolm Hayes
BBC Music Magazine, April 2015

The relative smallness of piano trio repertory is partly due to the medium’s balance difficulties involving one high and one low stringed instrument (violin and cello) with the differently-toned piano operating between them. Such is Stanford’s skill in the Piano Trio No 2 that the problem seems not to exist: its three performers clearly revel in the music’s transparency and freedom, Benjamin Frith’s piano-playing a feast of tonal loveliness and supple phrasing. In the Piano Quartet No 1 the gorgeous, nut-brown sonority of David Adams’s viola-playing is in the same exceptional class as his colleagues. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine

Ralph Graves
WTJU, March 2015

…this new Naxos release [is] a pleasure to listen to.

With this recording, the Gould Piano Trio complete their traversal of Stanford’s three trios. That experience with his music shows. The trio bring out all the romantic expressiveness of the music, while maintaining a precise ensemble sound. Highly recommended to anyone who loves Brahms and/or chamber music. © 2015 WTJU Read complete review

David Cairns
The Sunday Times, London, March 2015

…the quartet’s incisive scherzo, the trio’s beautiful andante—are true inventions. © 2015 The Sunday Times, London

Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, February 2015

RIES, F.: Violin Sonatas, Op. 8, Nos. 1-2 and Op. 19 (Grossman, S. Kagan) 8.573193
STANFORD, C.V.: Piano Trio No.2 / Piano Quartet No.1 (Gould Piano Trio, Adams) 8.573388
LILBURN, D.: String Quartet in E Minor / Phantasy / Canzonettas / Duos / String Trio (New Zealand String Quartet) 8.573079

With three superb discs featuring chamber music by Ferdinand Ries, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, and Douglas Lilburn, the indefatigably insightful Naxos label directs listeners’ attention into unfamiliar but richly rewarding niches of chamber music repertory. Spanning nearly a century and a half of musical evolution, these discs explore both the ways in which the sentimental immediacy of chamber music has consistently inspired composers and the infinitely diverse textures they have coaxed from combinations of finite groups of instruments.

Stylistically, the chamber works of Ferdinand Ries, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, and Douglas Lilburn are worlds apart, but these three exemplary Naxos recordings again remind listeners that music has the peculiar ability to unite composers, musicians, and audiences of all eras and generations. Ries could not surpass his teacher, Stanford was upstaged by his students, and Lilburn has not yet managed to completely overcome nationalistically-motivated skepticism, but the performances on these discs make no excuses for the trio of forsaken composers and their music: every artist involved, both musical and technical, approaches these works merely as well-crafted music that deserves to be heard. Indeed, these are discs that deserve to be heard often. © 2015 Voix des Arts Read complete review

Stephen Smoliar, January 2015

STANFORD: Clarinet Sonata / Piano Trio No. 3 / 2 Fantasies 8.570416
STANFORD, C.V.: Piano Quartet No. 2 / Piano Trio No. 1 / Legend / Irish Fantasies (Gould Piano Trio) 8.572452
STANFORD, C.V.: Piano Trio No.2 / Piano Quartet No.1 (Gould Piano Trio, Adams) 8.573388

Listening to the selections on these three albums, one can definitely appreciate the depth of understanding of Brahms that Stanford must have brought to the instruction of his composition students. Furthermore, while one can easily recognize many of Brahms’ tropes in Stanford’s chamber music, through the efforts of the Gould Piano Trio and their colleagues, one can also appreciate how he could refashioned those tropes for new settings. Stanford is not so much imitating Brahms as he is cooking up a new stew with the old familiar ingredients.

In this respect each individual album has been well programmed. …each one provides enough diversity to make beginning-to-end listening a satisfying experience.

Taken as a whole, this is music definitely worthy of acquaintance; and, when performed by these particularly skilled musicians, many listeners are likely to find that acquaintance will turn to friendship. © 2015 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2015

With this outstanding release, the Gould Piano Trio has completed the Piano Quartets and Trios of the Irish-born British composer, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. Overlooked in the wake of the Elgar era, his mature education took place in Leipzig and Berlin, a fact that fuelled those who wished to dismiss his music as Germanic. Yet he was the influential mentor of Vaughan Williams, Holst and Bridge and in the second movement of the Second Piano Trio you will find that feeling of nostalgia for times past that had yet to become the stock-in-trade of Elgar and his disciples. Then in the vivacity of the work’s concluding Allegro con fuoco we have an atmosphere of pure joy, that few other composers at that time could achieve. The First Piano Quartet from 1879 preceded it by twenty years, and can be counted among his ‘youthful’ scores. The great pleasure here is the bubbling and busy Scherzo, and the equally brilliant finale. To bring these two marvelous scores to life, the performers have to be ever mindful of Stanford copious dynamic markings, and to have the ability to inject really urgent tempos into the fast movements. That we find in abundance from the Gould who are augmented by the viola of David Adams. The balance between instruments is impeccable, and when required they go down to the most magical whisper. Add to that a gorgeous recorded sound, and the disc has my admiration and my most fervent recommendation. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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