PETER FRIBBINS (b.1969): Piano Trio (The Angell Trio), String Quartet No. 1 "I Have the Serpent Brought", Clarinet Quintet (James Campbell [clarinet], Allegri String Quartet), Cello Sonata (Raphael Wallfisch [cello], John York [piano]).
Catalogue Number: 08M093
Reference: GMCD 7343
Description: Writing in a passionate and emotionally communicative tonal vocabulary, Fribbins has amassed a considerable body of chamber music, in traditional forms and structures, to which he has brought his own perspective on modern music, largely that of the early-mid-20th century. The 'serioso' section of the last movement of the trio, for instance, strongly recalls Shostakovich's piano quintet; elsewhere in the work, one encounters shades of Prokofiev and Bartók. The quartet - the title taken from John Donne - is by turns darkly passionate, agitated, and radiantly luminous. The sonata consists of a freely rhapsodic prelude and a gentle, pastoral aria, followed by a vigorous toccata, for which the opening material occurred to the composer in a dream. This dramatic music is interrupted by very tonal, lyrical episodes, and is then recapitulated to end the piece. The classically proportioned four-movement quintet begins with an air of uncertainty and tension between strings and clarinet, which the tense, edgy scherzo does little to dissipate. A tranquil interlude brings some resolution, which carries over into the finale, which nonetheless has to overcome unresolved tension left over from the scherzo, to end in an air of slightly ambiguous calm.