Skip to main content

Fidelio Trio disc shortlisted for Gramophone Award

Fidelio Trio disc shortlisted for Gramophone Award

  • Date09 September 2022

The Fidelio Trio, featuring Director of Performance Dr Mary Dullea on piano, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2022 with a new CD release of chamber music by the composer Ernest J. Moeran

Fidelio Trio, photo by Christopher Baines

Fidelio Trio, photo by Christopher Baines

From Gramophone, in the words of Andrew Achenbach:

"Writing in the booklet, the Fidelio Trio's violinist Darragh Morgan and pianist Mary Dullea eloquently describe their strong ties - and genuine love for - the music of Ernest J. Moeran. Belfast-born Morgan got hooked after hearing Vernon Handley's blistering performances of the magnificent Symphony in G minor with the Ulster orchestra, while Dullea went on to instigate an annual summer festival of chamber music on County Kerry's Valentia Island, around 50 miles west of Kenmare (the composer's Irish base, where he died on December 1, 1950).

Especially valuable here is the superbly articulate and memorably affectionate advocacy lent to the disarming Piano Trio (dating from 1920 and comprehensibly overhauled five years later) and what serves to remind afresh just what gloriously lyrical and exuberant invention there is to be found in this offering, with its stylistic echoes of Ravel, Vaughan Williams and Moeran’s then teacher, John Ireland. Completed in 1923, the Violin Sonata builds on the not inconsiderable achievement of the Piano Trio, its progressive writing at times strikingly prescient of major works to come. At the same time, the plangent, darkly oppressive mood of its remarkable central Lento in particular intriguingly calls to mind Arnold Bax’s turbulent output from this same period (I’m thinking of the Second Violin Sonata and Second Piano Sonata) and even Frank Bridge’s craggy contemporaneous Piano Sonata.

In its impressive concision, contrapuntal resourcefulness, tangy harmonic scope and strikingly idiomatic assurance, the Sonata for two violins from 1930 has much in common with the terrific String Trio conceived around the same time (the quicksilver Presto scherzo is an absolute delight). That merely leaves the touching Prelude that Moeran wrote in 1943 for the cellist Peers Coetmore (with whom he had recently fallen in love – and the inspiration for his sublime Cello Concerto and riveting Cello Sonata from 1945 and 1947 respectively).

First-rate sound and balance complement the exemplary music-making. As should by now be clear, this enterprising anthology yields copious rewards and can be welcomed without reservation."

The Fidelio Trio have received numerous Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice and were shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society Award. They have appeared at Wigmore Hall, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Casa da Musica (Porto), Phillips Collection (Washington DC), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Beijing Modern Music Festival. With a discography of over 30 releases they also often perform Beethoven Triple Concerto, recently with National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and are Artistic Directors of their annual Winter Chamber Music Festival at Dublin City University. Their new CD release of music by Ernest J. Moeran can be purchased on Resonus Classics here.

Related topics

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help

Discover more about our 21 departments and schools

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

Royal Holloway is a research intensive university and our academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence.

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today