Founded in 2007, the Linos Piano Trio has a colourful and distinctive voice that draws on the rich cultural and artistic backgrounds of the three players. Their five nationalities and breadth of specialisms, ranging from historical to new music, undoubtedly contribute to their multifaceted and personal performances.
Alongside a commitment to the genre’s masterpieces, the group has a growing reputation for championing hidden gems and creating new trio transcriptions – four of which we will be treated to at this weekend.
Each of their four concerts explores a different theme, while works by Beethoven form a common thread throughout.
New Beginnings traces the ‘three Bs’ from the dawn of the piano trio genre in C.P.E. Bach’s galant E-flat major trio, to Beethoven’s Op.1 No.1, used for his own Vienna debut in the presence of the great master Haydn, and concluding with Brahms’s complex early work, which he reworked much later in life.
Experiments: The Linos Piano Trio prides itself on pioneering collaborative arrangements for piano trio, with its award-winning 2021 album Stolen Music which was widely acclaimed. For this concert, the trio has selected pieces that capture the spirit of experimentation of the composers featured, and experiments further on them with their own reimagining.
Nocturnes explores Beethoven’s fascination with a new sound world in his Op.70 piano trios. These pieces give us glimpses of his later style and are an early precursor the 19th-century ‘night music’ genre. Sandwiched in between will be a piece by the Trio’s pianist, Prach Boondiskulchok, entitled Night Suite.
The final programme, Culmination, pairs the final work (of his own) that Beethoven ever performed in public along with Ravel’s masterful A-minor Trio, written just before he joined the WW1 war effort – not knowing if this would be his last composition. These works capture a sense of culmination by two great masters of the trio genre.
For this event, we have invited the Trio to speak throughout the concerts about the music they are performing – something to which they are well accustomed and which they do brilliantly.
Friday 21 April, 5.30pm: ‘New Beginnings’
C.P.E. Bach, Piano Trio in E flat Wq.89 No.4
Beethoven, Piano Trio in E flat Op.1 No.1
Brahms, Piano Trio No.1 in B Op.8
Saturday 22 April, 10.30am: ‘Experiments’
Works all arr. by Linos Trio:
Jean-Féry Rebel, Les Caractères de la Danse
Beethoven, Finale from Symphony No.3 in E flat Op.55 Eroica
Debussy, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Ravel, Tombeau de Couperin
Saturday 22 April, 5.30pm: ‘Nocturnes’
Beethoven, Piano Trio in D Op.70 No.1 Ghost
Prach Boondiskulchok, Night Suite
Beethoven, Piano Trio in E flat Op.70 No.2
Sunday 23 April, 10.30am: ‘Culmination’
Ravel, Piano Trio in A minor
Beethoven, Piano Trio in B flat Op.97 Archduke
Prices, per person
Two sharing: standard double £880; Garden Room £1,070.
Single occupancy: single bedded room £880; double for sole use £990.
Four concerts with integrated talks, accommodation for two nights, breakfasts, two afternoon teas, two dinners, interval drinks, programme, tips for hotel staff.
The Castle is renowned for its excellent service, for comforts traditional and modern, and for its superb catering. It has been owned and run by the Chapman family for over 60 years. Chamber music events have been held here since 1977, and Martin Randall Travel took over the running of them in 2003.
The hotel’s bedrooms are individually and charmingly decorated. Doubles and twins are mainly of a good size, and the largest – the Garden Rooms – overlook the garden. There is no single-occupancy supplement for the rooms with single beds. The majority of rooms have a bath with a shower fitment.
The hotel has a lift, though some bedrooms are then accessed via stairs. The Music Room is on a mezzanine level, up a flight of stairs from the lobby.
Taunton lies on the doorstep of Exmoor and the Quantocks, areas with some of the loveliest countryside in England.
Tickets to individual concerts
£25 mornings, £30 evenings. Interval drinks and a programme are also included. Please contact The Castle Hotel directly to book individual concert tickets, on 01823 272 671 or visit www.the-castle-hotel.com/diary/
'Some hotels are still showing the stresses of the past two years but the Castle was as well managed as ever and their high standards maintained in all areas.'
'This was the first musical weekend that I had attended at the Castle hotel in Taunton. As a chamber music devotee I thoroughly enjoyed the programme... I was also appreciative of the comforts offered by the hotel. Good also to meet the other guests. All in all a much needed post lockdown tonic!'
'The musicians were terrific. Well-chosen programme.'