Gemma Rosefield...
Hyperion CDA68243
release: 1/2/2019
Sir Hubert Parry (1848-1918)
Piano Trios Nos 1 & 3

Leonore Piano Trio

Piano Trio No 1 in E minor
Piano Trio No 3 in G major
Partita in D minor - Benjamin Nabarro (violin), Tim Horton (piano)
Leonore Trio website

(Leonore Trio site)
Brahms, Schumann …it’s been too easy, over the long years of its relative neglect, to reach for obvious comparisons when discussing Parry’s chamber music. We’ve all done it. But listen to the second movement of his First Piano Trio of 1878: piano lightly sketching in its melody, buoyed up by pizzicato cello, while the violin buzzes brilliantly along behind it on needlepoint. Or move on to the Adagio, with the violin orating eloquently above a chiming, free-floating piano. The basic idiom is familiar, for sure, but the imaginative conception is distinctive and wholly original. It doesn’t, in honesty, sound quite like anything else. In short, it’s Parry.

If that fact alone is enough of a recommendation, you’ll be purring with satisfaction at this exemplary new release from the Leonore Piano Trio. Enthusiasm isn’t always enough to prevent recordings of unfamiliar music from sounding raw but these performances feel fully matured – fresh, intelligent and strikingly stylish; edgy when they need to be and opening out generously when Parry’s romantic impulse demands it (as in the second subject of the First Trio’s restless opening Allegro).

It’s certainly never a wallow (Hyperion’s clear, naturally balanced recorded sound helps there too). Phrases are taut and melodies are deftly characterised – giving both the grandeur and the dancelike momentum of a passacaglia to the Lento slow movement of the more loosely structured Second Trio, a movement that Parry conceived as a lament. As a makeweight, violinist Benjamin Nabarro and pianist Tim Horton give a smiling and equally vivid account of the mock-Baroque Partita; an inventive little delight, in the manner of Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Excellent booklet notes from Parryist-in-chief Jeremy Dibble, who seems to be on something of a roll.

Richard Bratby, Gramophone Magazine, January 2019
The Heavens and the Heart:
Choral and Orchestral Music
by James Francis Brown

Benjamin Nabarro (violin), Rachel Roberts (viola), Gemma Rosefield (cello), Catriona Scott (clarinet), The Choir of Royal Holloway, Orchestra Nova & George Vass (conductor)

Trio Concertante
Clarinet Concerto
The Heavens and the Heart

The music of James Francis Brown (b1969) is one of Britain’s well-kept secrets. Too well kept for my liking. This new release from Resonus is the first of any of his orchestral works, and what a disc it is! The Trio concertante (2005 06) is a glorious single-movement triple concerto for violin, viola and cello that belongs in the topmost rank of British string-orchestral music. The musical style may be rooted in Vaughan Williams, early Tippett and Britten, yet on closer acquaintance one realises that Brown’s music is truly all his own. A glorious listen, no wonder George Vass chose to perform it in his 60th birthday concert at St John’s Smith Square last year, which is where I first encountered it.

The Clarinet Concerto Lost Lanes – Shadow Groves (2008) is no less evocative, partly of the rural landscape of Norfolk but also as an exploration of the pathways of the mind, of the resonances and historical associations the real landscape calls forth. Admirers of Rubbra’s choral music will, I think, find much to enjoy in the three psalms comprising The Heavens and the Heart (2015 16). Orchestra Nova’s performances are thoroughly committed and winning, proving themselves real partners to the four excellent soloists and splendid Royal Holloway Choir, all playing with a relish matched on the podium by Vass. The sound is terrific, too. A must-buy disc!
Guy Rickards - Amazone Magazine, January 2019

Hyperion Records
Hyperion CDA68207

Johann Peter Pixis (1788-1874)
Piano Trios

Leonore Piano Trio

Piano Trio No 1 in E flat major 'Grand Trio' Op 75
Piano Trio No 3 in B minor Op 95
Trio Concertant No 1[11'09]

Leonore Trio website

(Leonore Trio site)

Johann Peter Pixis (1788-1874) is sadly neglected nowadays; with the recent exception of Stephen Hough and Howard Shelley, few musicians have paid any attention to him although in his day he was greatly respected, particularly so in Paris where the Mannheim-born composer resided from 1825 to 1845. His style of composition indicates that his birth-date lay between those of Beethoven and Schubert but some of his fiery fast-moving piano sequences suggest Mendelssohn.

All seven of Pixis’s Piano Trios were composed during his sojourn in Paris and the two examples presented here (respectively from 1825 and 1828) are highly original. The repeat of the four-minute exposition is made in the extensive first movement of the E flat Trio, although the Probst edition does not mark it but the contours of the movement justify the performers’ decision. There is Beethoven-like power here with the piano taking a melodic lead but all credit to the recording engineer David Hinitt for ensuring the strings are boldly audible. The brief Andante con moto is elegant, its cheerfulness surrounding a central section of momentary drama. The score shows the movement ending with a dramatic Adagio culminating in a brilliant piano cadenza but this section is really an introduction to the Finale and it is therefore placed at the start of track three. The main body of the Finale is highly exuberant until a minute's thoughtfulness is succeeded by a brilliant coda. The members of the Leonore Piano Trio rightly concentrate on the inherent optimism for the quieter melodies are too innocent to be sentimentalised and the straightforwardness of the reading makes for an ideal approach.

Antony Hodgson Classical Source January 2018



David Matthews - Complete Piano Trios

Leonore Piano Trio

Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 34 (1983)
Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 61 (1993)
Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 97 (2005)

Journeying Songs, Op. 95, for solo cello (2004–8)
Gemma Rosefield, cello
I Con vivacità
II Andante moderato
III Song for Gemma: Andante trasognato – Allegro appassionato

Leonore Trio website

(Leonore Trio site)

"The Leonore Piano Trio have clearly lived with this music; their playing is alert and stylish, unafraid to let me melodies sore. ‘Their performances seem to me definitive’, says Matthews.’
Richard Bratby, Gramophone

‘Lyrical lines are played with a poignancy and delicacy by an ensemble who thoroughly believe in the music.’
Martin Cullingford, Gramophone

‘David Matthews is doubly fortunate. […] on this disc, he has the wonderful, technically impeccable and sensitive Leonore Piano Trio as his performers.’
Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International


Taneyev & Rimsky-Korsakov: Piano Trios

Leonore Piano Trio

Piano Trio in D major Op 22 by Sergei Taneyev
Piano Trio in C minor by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Hyperion CD 68159
Leonore Trio website

(Leonore Trio site)

"Sizzling performance of two late Romantic piano trios"

The thrilling performances of the Leonore Piano make these late Romantic works come alive and Hyperion has provided their usual superb sonics.
Robert Moon
, Audiophile Audition April 2017 >>> more

The Leonore Piano Trio – Benjamin Nabarro (violin); Gemma Rosefield (cello) and Tim Horton (piano) are fine interpreters; Nabarro and Rosefield’s duet in the penultimate movement [of the Taneyev] is noteworthy. […] [For the Rimsky-Korsakov,] the Leonore Piano Trio evoke the rainbow colours and myriad shapes, moving quickly from dark and expansive (first movement) to slithers of iridescence (second movement). Horton brings an uneasy sense of trepidation to the third movement, foreshadowing the bittersweet piano solo in the finale. The balance of instruments is excellent throughout.
Claire Jackson, BBC Music Magazine ****

Taneyev, more astute than Tchaikovsky was in finding a balance between the piano and the two string instruments, is also far more resourceful in tonal colouring, in contrapuntal knitting and pitting of parts and in the general sense of creative momentum and coherence. These are qualities that the Leonore harness to terrific effect [...]
Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone

With the British Leonore Piano Trio, [the music] is all about naturalness and spontaneity, partly driven by the driving force of the expressive pianist Tim Horton. [...] The kaleidoscopic mood swings are particularly hard-hitting [...] Intense, and concentrated, [...] the technical finish is flawless.
Aart van der Wal, Opus Klassiek
Hyperion Records

Édouard Lalo (1823-1892)

Leonore Piano Trio

Piano Trio No 1 in C minor Op 7
Piano Trio No 2 in B minor
Piano Trio No 3 in A minor Op 26

Hyperion CDA68113
Leonore Trio website

(Leonore Trio site)
...powerful performance by the Leonore Piano Trio. Their huge dynamic range is effortlessly accommodated by the recording.
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review 'Disc of the Week'

The suavity of playing is another key factor in lending all three trios the polish and panache that they merit.
Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone

There’s high virtuosity all round—superb light, dazzling backgrounds from Tim Horton, searing intensity of tone from violinist Benjamin Nabarro and cellist Gemma Rosefield [...] it’s terrific stuff.
Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine ****

A remarkable disc of his piano trios by the Leonore, who make a good case of them [...] a real discovery
The Sunday Times

Benjamin Nabarro, Gemma Rosefield and Tim Horton make a very convincing case for this trio of trios
MusicWeb International

The Leonore Piano Trio, with none other than Tim Horton on piano, delivers clean, light performances that respect the music's craft without trying to make of it more than is there.
AllMusic, USA

The Leonore Piano Trio has much to offer in regard to its meticulous observing of Lalo’s wide-ranging dynamics … on balance, this is the finest release with all three Lalo trios in the present and past catalogs
Hyperion Records

Anton Arensky (1861-1906)

Piano Trio No 1 in D minor Op 32
Piano Trio No 2 in F minor Op 73
Vocalise (No 14 of Songs, Op 34)

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943), arr. Julius Conus (1869-1942)

Hyperion CDA68015
Leonore Trio website

(Leonore Trio site)
"the Leonore Trio do much to persuade us to listen anew to Arensky – too often dismissed as a lightweight Tchaikovsky – playing with sumptuous breadth and beguiling warmth in the first trio, and with appropriate seriousness of intent in the altogether graver second. Revelatory playing from Benjamin Nabarro, violin, Gemma Rosefield, cello, and Tim Horton, piano.
The Observer ****

The Leonores play with truly glorious affection and security, and it is hard to imagine playing of a greater empathy. Balance (there is no artificial highlighting) and sound are ideal.
Gramophone ‘Choice’

The Leonore Piano Trio offer an all-Arensky adventure [...] Masterly performance, handsomely recorded , with a range of tone-colours from pianist Tim Horton and a specially lovely lead back into the main melody of the F minor’s Romance from violinist Benjamin Nabarro
BBC Music Magazine****

These works make an admirable CD and one must applaud the performances of the Leonore ensemble in both, for it manages to capture their subtly varied essence and style ideally. The musicians here manage to hold the underlying pulse of the first movement of the D minor together without making it appear stiff or unnatural, at the same time as applying those myriad touches of refinement and expression without appearing contrived. In other words, in this difficult long movement (14 minutes) the attention is fully held, and in the succeeding three movements their playing is equally admirable – especially in the elegiac Adagio, where in the closing passage Gemma Rosefield’s cello tone is first-rate and in the finale displaying an admirable combination of varied emotional strengths and architectural expression. […] The Leonore Trio manages to extract an underlying vein of passionate commitment that sheds fresh light on the familiar, endlessly melodic line. The result is indeed fine.
International Record Review 'Outstanding'

Britain’s Leonore Piano Trio is outstanding in the two Arensky Piano Trios (Hyperion CDA68015). Anton Arensky’s Piano Trio No.1 in D minor Op.32 was written in 1894 and, in keeping with the commemorative nature of the piano trio form established by Tchaikovsky some 12 years earlier, was conceived as a memorial to the cellist Karl Davidoff, the director of the St. Petersburg Conservatory during Arensky’s student days there. The cello consequently has a very prominent part in the Trio. Pianist Tim Horton sets the stage with a beautiful opening; violinist Benjamin Nabarro adds a warm, sweet tone, especially in the lower register; and cellist Gemma Rosefield’s passionate playing leaves nothing to be desired. The Piano Trio in F Minor Op.73 dates from the early 1900s, not long before Arensky’s death in 1906 and at a time when the composer was in poor health. It’s another terrific work, and one that draws more outstanding playing from the Leonore ensemble. Among Arensky’s pupils in his harmony class at the Moscow Conservatory was Sergei Rachmaninov, and the latter’s Vocalise is presented here in an arrangement by Rachmaninov’s friend Julius Conus, who was also one of Arensky’s students at the Conservatory. Everything about this outstanding CD is just right: the works themselves; the great ensemble playing; the interpretations; the excellent dynamics and phrasing; and the real passion and sensitivity displayed throughout. Add the excellent balance and sound quality, and it’s a real winner.

[Arensky's] first piano trio is passionately performed – Benjamin Nabarro’s fine violin playing is particularly emotive throughout, giving the melodies just the right lilt. Arensky’s second trio is a darker and more serious work, giving the Leonore Trio plenty of opportunities to demonstrate nuanced playing [...] showcasing all three instrumentalists’ impressively wide range of timbres. Rachmaninov’s famous Vocalise is given a stirring performance here. I wholeheartedly look forward to the Leonore Piano Trio’s next CD!
Paul Ballam-Cross, Limelight Magazine (Australia)

buy from Amazon
Hyperion CDA67859
The Romantic Cello Concerto, Vol. 3 – Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
The Complete Works for Cello & Orchestra

Gemma Rosefield (cello),
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Manze (conductor)

LINK to Hyperion Page with Sound Samples

buy from Amazon

“Stanford’s Concerto strikes my ear as sharing many similarities with Lalo’s D-Minor Concerto of just four years earlier. The solo cello part sounds nasty, with lots of virtuosic passagework, much of which lies high up on the instrument’s A string, and with the orchestra playing a largely declamatory role as the cello weaves, bobs, and gyrates its way through its obstacle course. For sure, the piece fulfils Hyperion’s criteria for a “Romantic” concerto. It has everything you could want – sweeping melodies, dramatic urgency and pyrotechnics aplenty.” “…Gemma Rosefield, an attractive young artist,… has what it takes to navigate Stanford’s minefield and to emerge the other side of it unscathed and with an air of calm, cool confidence about her that says, “see, that’s how it’s done”.” “…Based on this recording, I look forward to hearing her a lot in the future; she is a major new cello talent.” “This is one gorgeous CD. Rosefield, as already stated, is on her way to becoming a major star in the cello world. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Andrew Manze is in top form, and Hyperion’s recording may not be gold-plated, as some discs are these days, but the sound it delivers is pure sterling silver. This is a must-have for anyone who loves Romantic music for cello and orchestra.”
(Jerry Dubins,
“It is heartening to see this disc in the catalogues. Gemma Rosefield… is the soloist. A young cellist in the early stages of her career it is good that she has been given this opportunity to excel...
Quite delightfully played by Rosefield the F major Rondo is undemanding with a number of light and appealing melodies…
A beautiful atmosphere is created by Rosefield in the molto adagio (Cello Concerto)
The lyrical and virtuosic Rosefield performs the dance-like Rondo, finale impressively, imparting a warm appeal…
Cellist Rosefield provides consistently splendid playing and could not have been given more sensitive support than the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Manze. Lovers of the late-Romantic should not hesitate with this Hyperion release. “ (Michael Cookson, MusicWebInternational) website
"... Gemma Rosefield plays magnificently, addressing the technical hurdles with assurance, her sterling musicianship and beautiful tone shaping the poetic episodes with sensitivity. This is good and likeable music. The concerto is rounded off with a ruminative slow movement and an amiable, rhythmically chirpy finale, the latter introduced with some typically distinctive and expressive writing for wind instruments. ... As suggested, Gemma Rosefield plays marvellously, all boxes ticked. She is afforded animated and sensitive accompaniments under Andrew Manze’s sympathetic guidance. To complete a fully annotated release that may well be musically revelatory, and is certainly first-class in its execution, the recording is tangible, excellently balanced and naturally sounded." (Classical
'Rosefield plays with disarming character and freshness; her technique, too, is enviably sure and tone beguilingly rounded … Admirable sound and truthful balance; another Hyperion winner!' (Gramophone)
'Stanford's sturdy, Brahmsian Cello Concerto and the folksong-rich Third Irish Rhapsody are the highlights here, superbly played by Gemma Rosefield' (BBC Music Magazine)
'[Ballata and Ballabile] shows Stanford at his most elegant and melodious … The performance is refined and strongly characterised by Rosefield and the orchestral accompaniment under Andrew Manze is well caught in the lucid and warm recording. Anyone with an interest in Stanford should hear this most attractive disc, presenting an aspect of his output that is all put unknown and given committed advocacy here' (International Record Review)
'The giant is the well-crafted Cello Concerto in D minor, which cellist Gemma Rosefield plays with warm-hearted poeticism and unfussy sensibility … Rosefield, with impeccable support from Andrew Manze and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, makes an equally good case for the Rondo in F, the lyrical Ballata and Ballabile, and the melancholic Irish Rhapsody' (The Scotsman)
'Rosefield plays Stanford's music with a real feeling for period style, using graceful portamentos and displaying a deep lyricism … Rosefield's solo entry in the Cello Concerto is immediately notable for its graceful, delicate phrasing … her tone is full but not forceful … [she] never sacrifices beauty of tone in the bravura passages, and her playing of the Irish Rhapsody no. 3 exudes tenderness' (The Strad)
'The cello writing is superbly idiomatic, the orchestration deft and imaginatively coloured … Gemma Rosefield obviously has the technique to burn and is sensitive to mood and atmosphere … Andrew Manze brings unexpected authority to proceedings' (Classic FM Magazine)

Guild Music GMCD 7354


released: January 2011

Prospero’s Isle - Chamber Music by James Francis Brown

Piano Quartet
Tamás András (violin), Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola),
Gemma Rosefield (cello), Katya Apekisheva (piano)

Prospero’s Isle
Gemma Rosefield (cello), Nicola Eimer (piano)

String Trio
Jack Liebeck (violin), Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola), Gemma Rosefield (cello)

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.

(listen to a 2 min clip
from Prospero's Isle)
"On this CD we hear his best known ( i.e. most performed ) work: Prospero’s Isle, played by its dedicatee Gemma Rosefield... ( She ) plays with authority and virtuosity, projecting the warmth of the music in the most benevolent fashion. All performances are committed and have great feeling for the intrinsic qualities of this music, summed up by a generosity of spirit and warmth of expression rare in music of any age."

Edward Clark, Musical Opinion, July-August 2011.

Released on: 26 September 2011

Dawes: Various Works

Gemma Rosefield plays Sonata for Cello and Piano

Available from Amazon