Piano Trio in G Major
William Yeates Hurlstone (1876-1906) was born in London and at an early age he showed great interest in music and soon played the piano brilliantly. Unfortunately his activities were hampered by bronchial asthma, from which he suffered all his life. Hurlstone won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music when he was 18 and studied piano and composition, the latter with Sir Charles Stanford, who among his many brilliant students considered Hurlstone his most talented. Virtually all of his contemporaries recognized his tremendous ability and the excellence of his compositions. In 1905 at the age of 28, he was appointed Professor of Harmony and Counterpoint at the Royal College but unfortunately, less than a year later, he died.
Hurlstone was especially fond of chamber music and left behind several first rate works, of which the 1905 Piano Trio in G Major is certainly one. This delightful work features themes which are fresh and attractive and workmanship beyond criticism. In four movements, it begins Allegro moderato. The music is happy and genial flowing along easily, nothing forced or affected. The second movement, Andante, begins calmly with a lovely theme, which in the middle section rises to a very dramatic pitch (our sound-bite is of this middle section). Next comes a scherzo, Molto vivace, with a very upbeat, contemporary-sounding English theme. A slower, lyrical trio section completes the picture. The exciting finale, Allegro comodo, grabs the listener's attention from the opening bars and does not let go. A beautiful and reflective second subject provides a magnificent contrast.
Here is a work which is both great to hear and fun to play--a work which surely would have taken its place in the repertoire as a masterpiece had the composer lived to publish it, and had he been German and not English. We are very pleased to offer this superb trio, long out of print to amateur and professional chamber music players alike.