This CD is dedicated to chamber music by Irish composer Rhona Clarke. Three of her pianoforte trios are garnished with solos for piano and violoncello as well as a work for duo for violin and cello with taped accompaniment.

Clarke, trained in Ireland, has created a wide range of work in which choral and vocal music play a significant part. But also the chamber music, often in the combination of strings with a keyed instrument, is an essential part of her work, since this combination corresponds to her approach to composition.

The three pianoforte pianos differ not only in their formal structure of classical concepts. They also include expressive forms of jazz and improvisational elements. This is already clear in the title of the fourth trio:  ‘A Different Game’ shows the newly evolving moments in the ‘game’ that fit into an existing compositional frame.

The piano piece ‘Gleann Dá Loch’ describes an Irish lake landscape with a monastery in Wicklow with the silence of the waters and the ruggedness of the surrounding mountains in the changing light. In ‘Con coro’ the voice of the composer is added from the tape (the ‘choir’) to the playing of violin and cello. The CD concludes peacefully with the work ‘In Umbra’ for cello, which leaves the soloist much freedom in the interpretation.

Clarke takes the liberty to move both tonally as well as away from it, depending on how the respective compositional situation presents itself for her. In addition to jazz and electronic components, she also works with visual arts.

The Fidelio Trio has long been in close contact with the composer. The ensemble has dedicated itself to the promotion and performance of contemporary music, including Irish music. There are numerous works commissioned, which it has not only premiered, but includes repeatedly on its programs, in order to secure them a place in the repertoire. The close relationship with the composer and the present music is to be noted in the trio’s safe and expressive handling of the music. The two Irish musicians have found a convincing community with the Israeli cellist to convey effective interpretation.

—Uwe Krusch