I predict a bright future for David Knotts's scintillating 'The Long Way Home', inspired by torrential summer rain. Its second movement beautifully captures the wistful sense of time passing evoked in Townsend Warner's title poem. At just 12 minutes long, it's a programmer's dream, though it requires all the sensual subtlety and detail these performers bring. 'The Dead Broke Blues Break' by Camden Reeves makes a pungent contrast; they revel in its witty re-enactment of the deconstructed blues on a cracked record which gradually gathers coherence as it reaches the middle of the vinyl. Turnage's 'Fast Stomp' covers similar muscular territory, a terrific moto perpetuo belonging to the same world as his recent dance music.
The biggest work, Anthony Powers's four-movement Piano Trio (2010), is a finely wrought achievement, the kernel of each movement being a dark-hued English folk song. The piece began life as a movement, 'Ghost', for the Schubert Ensemble's Chamber Music 2000 project, which the Lawson Trio has embraced fruitfully.
I'm baffled that Cheryl Frances-Hoad's witty 'Five Rackets for Trio Relay' didn't win funding for the Cultural Olympiad project: each piece is cleverly tailored to string players of different abilities. It's fresh and funny.
Performance - 5 stars Recording - 4 stars
BBC Music Magazine
(March 2013 - Vol. 21 No. 6)
This fine group are not content to peruse the big back catalogue of works for piano, violin and cello... David Knott's title piece muses on a nostalgic image by Sylvia Townsend Warner. Anthony Powers's Piano Trio exploits English folk song, but conjures up the ghosts of Brahms and Debussy. Cheryl Frances-Hoad's 'Five Rackets for Trio Relay' (a double piano trio involving young musicians) portrays diverse Olympic sports, the "sailing" movement especially illustrational. Best of all is Camden Reeves's 'The Dead Broke Blues Break', evoking and vigorously transforming the blues as imagined on a warped 78 record.