Piano Trios 2, 3 and 4 (‘A Different Game’); Gleann Da Lough (solo piano), Con Coro (violin, cello and tape), In Umbra (solo cello). The Fidelio Trio, Métier msv 28561.
This new disk features three strongly contrasted works from Irish composer Rhona Clarke. Her Second Piano Trio is, by turns, darkly introspective and neurotically obsessive; the Third, in its jazz inflected first movement especially, more lyrical and harmonically relaxed. The Fourth Trio is a recent work (2016), and here one suspects that it has been influenced by Clarke’s encounters with electroacoustic music—extended instrumental sonorities are explored, most notably in the very clustered piano writing. All three works are structurally lucid.
Of the three bonus pieces, I was particularly struck by Con Coro which, as the same suggests, explores mixing choir and chamber instruments. The result is exquisite.
This disk is available for streaming on both Apple Music and Spotify. It is likely to appeal to both more and less adventurously-inclined.