Elena Firsova is an émigré composer born in Russia and resident in the UK since 1991. She was one of Khrennikov's seven blacklisted composers in 1979. The CD was released in celebration of Firsova's 65th birthday and fills a gap in her discography, being the first disc dedicated entirely to her chamber music. The title track A Triple Portrait was commissioned in 2011 by the Marsyas Trio, generously funded by the PRS for Music Foundation's 'Women Make Music' Award. Other tracks on the disc feature solos, duos and a quintet for flute, strings and piano. Firsova has been commissioned by leading international ensembles, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Schubert Ensemble and Brodsky Quartet. Her distinctive music is highly personal and expressive with dark overtones and close connections with the poetry of Osip Mandelstam. This CD spans across 35 years of Firsova’s well-established career. The Marsyas Trio is joined on several tracks by violinist Patrick Dawkins (Ligeti Quartet), violist Morgan Goff, mezzo-soprano Hannah Pedley and German soprano Maacha Deubner.
"4.5 stars. This disc provides a compelling introduction to a composer whose work should be heard more often…the restrained, introverted beauty of Firsova’s music is undeniable…performed with sensitivity and refinement.” Angus McPherson, Limelight Magazine, Australia, June 2016
“This is an exciting new release with impressive works that are full of expression, emotion, passion, poetry and not a little virtuosity…fine work that receives a first class performance from this ensemble.” Bruce Reader, The Classical Reviewer, Sept 2015
“The Marsyas Trio and their guests…give superb performances…A highly recommended disc for anyone interested in a distinctive voice in contemporary music.” Robert Hugill, Nov 2015