British composer John Ireland's three piano trios are arguably his most significant chamber works. The tuneful Phantasie Trio of 1908 brought him to public notice, while the second (1917) reflected his intensely emotional response to World War I. His third piano trio (1938) reworked his earlier Clarinet Trio of 1912–13, adding a new slow movement of great lyrical beauty. Again highlighting Ireland's surpassing melodic gifts are four pieces for violin and piano: Berceuse (1902), Cavatina (1904), Bagatelle (1911), and The Holy Boy (1913).
"Dedicated to Walton, [the third trio] is one of Ireland's most effortlessly fluent and approachable works, crammed full of memorable invention and displaying a comprehensive understanding of the medium. The Gould Piano Trio lend exquisitely refined, infectiously eager advocacy…. And it is preceded by similarly lithe and luminous accounts of the endearing Phantasie Trio and magnificent Second Trio from 1917…. A thoroughly desirable release."—Gramophone
"These excellent performances are distinguished by beauty of tone and a rhythmic spring and alertness…. The Gould Trio bring out the music's rhythmic variety, the nervous strength in the way the lines—admirably balanced in Naxos's recording—are made to work against each other…. The Goulds have the edge in both polish and recording."—BBC Music
"The recording is impressive, bold but never overwhelming…. A solid addition to the catalogue."—International Record Review