Suggested programmes for 2019 onwards

Prayers and Nocturnes

Facing both East and West, the musical language of this programme draws on Buddhist, Jewish and Christian roots. At the heart of the programme is the mature Mendelssohn’s canonic Trio no.2. This is a fiery and urgent work which, in a rare moment of stillness, famously quotes the melody of the chorale “Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir” from the sixteenth-century Genevan psalter, itself based on Psalm 100. 

In his vigorously ecstatic work ‘Colourful Sutra Banner’, one of China’s most active current composers, Ye Xiaogang, reflects on his journey to the Tibetan Plateau and his vivid recollections of its colourful, fluttering prayer flags - one the most sacred symbols for Tibetan Buddhists. Ye Xiaogang’s journey and ‘discovery’ of a different culture, of another way of life, is contrasted with Bloch’s recollections of his personal, deeply ingrained heritage and past. In 1924, the year that these Nocturnes were written, Swiss-born Bloch officially became a US citizen. He always maintained, however, that writing music which expressed his Jewish identity was "the only way in which I can produce music of vitality and significance".

Five years previously, English composer Rebecca Clarke’s viola sonata had famously been mistaken as the work of Bloch and her Piano Trio – so eclectic, yet also so strong in its unique, individual voice - resonates with Jewish influences, as well as eastern European exoticism and the sound world of the French impressionists. 

  • Franz Schubert Notturno in Eb major D897 
  • Ye Xiaogang Colourful Sutra Banner 
  • Rebecca Clarke Piano Trio 
  • Ernest Bloch 3 Nocturnes for Piano Trio 
  • Felix Mendelssohn Trio no.2 in C minor, op.66

Inner Ear (2020-21 season) 

If ‘headspace’ is a must for creativity and craftsmanship, then how does today’s frazzled, freelance classical musician come by it…?! In its twentieth anniversary season and after a number of years marked by personal change and diverse challenges, the Lawson Trio embarks on a long-term group mindfulness experiment, hoping to frame their collective musical lives with a greater sense of silence… 

In this programme, the Lawson Trio play recorded extracts from their pioneering, multi-faceted ‘Inner Ear’ podcast, as well as discussing their personal experiences of mindfulness practice and performing music which resonates with this mindset.  

Music may include: 

  • Schubert Notturno in Eb major D897 
  • Rebecca Knight Piano Trio 
  • Ye Xiaogang Colourful Sutra Banners 
  • Mozart Trio in E major KV542 
  • Judith Weir Trio no.2 
  • Philip Glass Head On 
  • David Knotts The Long Way Home (Lawson Trio Commission)
  • New Commission TBA!

Music from the Near East  
(90 min recital)

A programme exploring the exoticism of music from Russia, Bohemia and Poland. Dvorak's famous trio of 6 short movements, each in the pastoral Slavic form of a 'dumka' is complemented by shorter colourful, early works by Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, and Panufnik. Of special note is the music of little known Russian/Swiss composer Paul Juon - an eloquent musical voice born of both Russian and Central European influences.

  • Sergei Rachmaninov  Trio Élégiaque no. 1 in G minor (1892)
  • Paul Juon Suite for Piano Trio in C major, Op. 89 (1932)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich Piano Trio no. 1 in C minor, Op. 8 (1923)
  • Andrzej Panufnik Trio Op. 1 (1934 /45 /85)
  • Antonin Dvorak Piano Trio no. 4 in E minor, Op. 90 ‘Dumky’ (1891)

Music by Women Composers
(90 min recital)

Clara Schumann, a harsh self-critic, once wrote dismissively of her composition work calling it, “woman’s work, which always lacks force and occasionally invention”. This programme defies Clara’s accusation however, presenting a very varied programme of music, illustrating diverse musical styles and composers taking their inspiration from an imaginative range of sources, from Zen Buddhist stories, to the prose of Sylvia Plath. Although this is a programme of less familiar music, these works all have a remarkable directness and immediacy for the listener. 

  • Clara Schumann Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17 (1846)
  • Judith Weir Piano Trio Two (2004)
  • Lili Boulanger ‘D’un matin de printemps’ (1917-18)
  • Cheryl Frances-Hoad ‘My Fleeting Angel’ (2006)
  • Rebecca Clarke Piano Trio (1921)

Lecture Recital Programmes

The Musical Legacy of Lili & Nadia Boulanger
(90 min Lecture Recital)

A composer with a strikingly original musical voice, Lili Boulanger was the first woman to win France’s prestigious ‘Prix de Rome’ competition. After her tragically early death in 1918 at the age of 24, her sister Nadia, dedicated her life to promoting Lili’s work and to a teaching/conducting career that inspired a generation of twentieth century composers and musical thinkers. Looking toward this poignant centenary, we explore the Boulangers’ music, alongside the composers who inspired them, and those who were enriched by Nadia’s remarkable teaching career.

Programme to include:

  • Lili Boulanger ‘D’un soir triste’ & ‘D’un matin de printemps’ (1917/18)
  • Nadia Boulanger ‘Trois pièces pour violoncelle et piano’ (1914)
  • Gabriel Faure Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120 (1923)

And works by composers including:
Aaron Copland, Philip Glass & Astor Piazzolla


Basque fireworks and other pyrotechnics...!
an exploration of Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor
(60 min Lecture Recital)

Ravel’s masterpiece of the trio genre was written in the summer of 1914 and forged out of a heady mix of immersion in his native Basque culture and adrenaline. The composer, with his heart set on serving his country as an aviator, was desperate to finish this work before enlisting. With reference to Ravel’s own correspondence and other works, the Lawson Trio trace the ideas and structures behind this inspired music. 

This concert may be performed as a 60-minute lecture recital including a performance of the trio, or alternatively, as a musically illustrated pre-concert talk followed by a full recital programme. 
 

For a comprehensive, up-to-date repertoire list, please click here