by Alexandra Mathew

Australia’s Muses Trio is unique among chamber music ensembles. Consisting of a fabulous all-female line-up – Therese Milanovic (piano), Christa Powell (violin), and Louise King (cello) – the trio’s prime purpose is to explore, share and promote music composed by women. ‘The notion that there is no worthwhile music composed by women’, they state, ‘was to us simply ridiculous’. While few openly deride or discount the music of female composers, their lack of representation in the classical music scene suggests that their work is of little value. The Muses Trio, with their debut CD The Spirit and the Maiden, hopes to redress the balance.

Unsurprisingly, I was unfamiliar with many of the compositions presented here. The opening ‘The Spirit and the Maiden’ (from which the album takes its name) by Elena Kats-Chernin is a highlight. Infused with Kats-Chernin’s signature energy and style, the trio delivers a fine reading of the score. On the whole, this is an enjoyable recording, and it is a wonderful tribute to the veritable wealth of classical music composed by women.

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