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11.01.13
The Herald, Plymouth / Philip R Buttall
20th International Concert Series
City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth - November 15, 2012

WHEN the Fournier Trio first played in the city, they were truly impressive then. But their return revealed
a maturity in the performance, and an even greater insight into the writing, which so effectively combined
the freshness and impetuosity of youth with a well-studied intellectual approach beyond their age.

Opening with Arensky's First Piano Trio, the lush romanticism was there in every bar, yet never mere mawkish
sentimentality - an easy mistake, yet crucial to avoid in such evocative writing. From the almost symphonic sound
of the outer movements, the limpid quality of the scherzo and the heartfelt emotion of the Elegia, here was a
masterful reading to cherish.

Ravel's Piano Trio is a more challenging work in every way, making even greater demands on each player,
the pianist in particular. Yet the bristling technical difficulties were just cast aside in a wonderful performance
which was all about the sheer beauty and variety of the composer's writing and often exotic soundscape, but
with the music at the forefront every time.

From the first bar of the Arensky to the tumultuous close of the Ravel, here was playing of the very highest order
from a dedicated and talented ensemble that now has the proven potential to make a significant impression in what
is still a crowded market-place.



21.04.11
Oxford Times / Martin Baker
Oxford Coffee Concert
Holywell Room, Oxford - April 10, 2011

Following one of the most exciting debuts this March at the Holywell Music Room, the Fournier Piano Trio,
consolidated their popularity by returning last Sunday with a generous programme of works that included
Mozart, Brahms and, as a bonus, a little performed Trio by Georges Pfeiffer.

Mozart's late Piano Trio in C, K.548, that began the concert, written in the annus mirabilis year of 1788,
has a disingenuous charm and facility that the composer, in financial straits, hoped would be a source of
revenue by appealing to amateur musicians. It is, however, like the earlier 'easy' Piano Sonata, K.545
interpretatively most difficult. The Fournier Trio effortlessly presented the work with a depth of emotional
understanding that places these musicians in the vanguard of current ensembles.

The 19th century, French born Georges Pfeiffer was a partner in the piano firm of Pleyel, Wolff et Cie.
His second Piano Trio is no dilettante composition and lost nothing by being performed between Mozart
and Brahms. The second movement's playful pizzicato passages of the violin and piano had a magic that
Mendelssohn would surely have envied.

It used to be said that if you did not recognize the composer of a piece of music it was probably by Brahms.
In their performance of his C minor trio at the Holywell last Sunday, the Fournier Piano Trio banished
any ambivalence about this composer's musical identity with an interpretation of formidable and enlightening
advocacy. Their attack in the opening of the first movement had a declamatory expression that held authority
until the end with an intuitive command of the subtle rubati that imbues this Hungarian inspired work.

Formed in 2009, the Fournier Piano Trio, pianist Chiao-Ying Chang, violinist, Sulki Yu, and cellist Pei-Jee Ng,
currently hold a Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music. They recently made
their critically acclaimed Purcell Room debut as part of the 2011 PLG New Year Series and are winners of a
Philharmonia Orchestra MMSF Recital Award and a Tunnell Trust Award.




05.02.11
The Herald, Plymouth / Philip R Buttall
18th International Concert Series
Sherwell United Church, Plymouth - February 3, 2011

Last-minute programme changes are sometimes inevitable, but can so easily compromise the success
of any recital. However, this was the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit, so luck was very much on the
side of the Fournier Piano Trio who, despite its revered French namesake, still has its roots firmly in
the Orient.

From the commanding opening of Brahms's C minor Piano Trio, it was obvious that the packed audience
was in for a treat, but only as the work unfolded did it become clear that indeed this was going to prove
some of the very best chamber music with piano heard in the city for a very long time.

Taiwanese-British pianist, Chiao-Ying Chang, is a superb performer who possesses immense power,
yet is equally able to produce the most delicate pianissimo. Furthermore she successfully matched her
dynamic range for the powerful demands of the Brahms, with the more sensitive needs of Mendelssohn
in his Second Piano Trio. Korean violinist Sulki Yu, and Australian-Chinese cellist Pei-Jee Ng made
equally superb contributions, playing with youthful ardour and passion, allied with a sense of sheer
enjoyment, while always maintaining such impressive ensemble discipline.

With mature and assured playing of this stature, the Fournier Trio surely deserves to be up there with
the very best, finely poised at the start of what should prove a highly successful year.




13.01.11
The Times / Hilary Finch
Park Lane Group Young Artists New Year Series
Purcell Room, London - January 11, 2011

The fine Fournier Piano Trio introduced the 24-year-old composer Daniel Kidane. They gave the
world premiere of his Flux and Stasis, nine compelling minutes of tautly constructed, vibrantly
imagined movement and colour, inspired by a mirage that Kidane experienced in Eritrea. No mere
piece of impressionistic indulgence, this self-energising music would fire the imagination even
without its hidden "programme". It made me keen to hear more both of Kidane and of the Fournier
Piano Trio themselves.




12.01.11
Classical Source / Peter Reed
Park Lane Group Young Artists New Year Series
Purcell Room, London - January 11, 2011

The second concert of the evening was shared between a piano trio and a baritone and pianist.
The three Fournier players all have awesome but restrained technical ability and highly attuned
chamber-music antennae (the Australian cellist, Pei-Jee Ng, also has a duo with his almost-
identical twin brother, Pei-Sian). They got under the impressionist skin of Turnage's A Short
Procession, conveying its funeral lament into a brief study of muted but powerful colours and
shifting tonal planes. Not the merriest start to a concert, perhaps, but done with great conviction.

Much more of a stretch for them was Flux and Stasis by Daniel Kidane, the result of the young
composer's travels in East Africa in 2009 and his experience of and musical reaction to a mirage,
an easily explained natural phenomenon and one with just as easily understandable visionary
implications. In terms of the music's resources of string harmonics and tremolos, and chordal
mightiness for the piano, Kidane has perhaps drunk deep at the Messiaen oasis, but the 10-minute
piece did speak of stridently lit mysteries, and did so with rigour and assurance. In short, it
worked, and the Fournier players were keenly alive to its glittering soundworld.

Their third item, Timothy Salter's Piano Trio, was also the longest and showed off the Fourniers'
remarkably fresh and intuitive response to the music's structural and rhythmic complexities.
The Mahlerian elegy, with its marking-time pulse holding the music in a state of suspension and a
finely judged, vanishing-point conclusion were impressive.