ICS: Gould Piano Trio & Mark Simpson

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To begin Millfield Music School’s action-packed 2018/19 International Concert Series, we were delighted to host the award-winning Gould Piano Trio and composer/performer extraordinaire Mark Simpson

After a superbly crafted and effortlessly presented pre-concert talk on Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ by Dr Brooks, the concert proper began. The Gould Piano Trio treated the audience with Haydn’s ‘Piano Trio in A flat major (Hob. XV:14)’. This deceptively challenging three-movement work was stylistically brought to life by the expert performing skills of the Gould Piano Trio, with Lucy Gould (violin) bringing grace and class to this First Viennese School masterpiece. Following this, the trio performed Mark Simpson’s intriguing ‘After Avedon’, based on a selection of photographs by the late Roger Avedon. With its mesmerising interplay between the two string parts, Lucy Gould and Alice Neary (cello), alongside a vast spectrum of virtuosic piano writing (Benjamin Frith), the audience were transported deeper into Avedon’s visual imagery in this brilliant composition that married the sublime with the shocking. To round off an already phenomenal event, Mark Simpson joined the trio after the interval for a performance of Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’, his virtuosity highlighting the versatility of the clarinet from its highest notes to its creeping entries from absolute silence. Those lucky to attend were treated to one of the finest interpretations of this masterpiece, performed with the highest levels of precision, passion and expression.

It has been a pleasure hosting such talents of international renown here at Millfield School who took our audience and students on a musical journey that will be talked about for years to come.

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