William Yeates Hurlstone (1876-1906)
Trio in G minor for clarinet, bassoon and piano (1894)

I - Andante maestoso - Allegro vivace; II - Andante; III - Allegro moderato

Hurlstone's short career as a pianist and composer fell within the second 'Renaissance' of English music, led by composers such as Elgar, Delius, Parry, Stanford and Sullivan. His family background was not particularly musical, but he started composing at a young age and won a scholarship to the Royal College of music, where Stanford was professor of music from 1883 to 1924. His career as a pianist was impeded by chronic bronchial asthma, but he performed his own piano concerto at St James Hall in 1896 and became accompanist to the Bach Choir, as well as playing the clarinet, violin and cello.

Hurlstone's chamber music was held in high regard and works include the Phantasy string quartet, a 'cello sonata, the popular Four Characteristic Pieces for clarinet and piano, the bassoon sonata, and the extensive Piano Quartet, which was played at the composers funeral. Although his life was touched by the tragic death of his father from smallpox, there is evidence of great optimism in Hurlstone's music, as demonstrated by the light-hearted Piano Trio. DPS

© 2002 The Arethusa Ensemble