> WIDOR Piano Trio, Piano Quintet [RB]: Classical Reviews- January 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937)
Piano Trio in B flat major (1875) [31.33]
Piano Quintet in D minor (1890) [29.18]
Ilona Prunyi (piano)
New Budapest Quartet
rec Italian Institute, Budapest, 10-13 April 1988
NAXOS 8555416 [60.51]

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Widor's ten organ symphonies (although suites would be a more apposite description) have had such acclaim and for some movements such popularity that all else from his pen has been blasted into obscurity.

Marco Polo were not content to leave that situation and in 1989 issued this disc at full price as 8.223193.

The Trio is rather like earlyish Fauré - very appealing and concise melodically. The andante is outstanding, in its cradling and rocking theme and its fastidious treatment. Widor's forebears clearly include Schumann rather than Beethoven. The Quintet is contemporaneous with the Chausson Concert and Franck's string quartet. This is witty and ingenious music with an emotional core evident from the andante (clearly Widor was good at these). Inspiration slackens in the farewell allegro con moto. The quintet is dedicated to Gounod.

Are there any recordings of Widor's other concert works? There are two orchestral symphonies, three for organ and orchestra (a popular French phenomenon!), five concerto type works including concertos for piano and cello, the tone poem La Nuit de Walpurgis, two ballets La Korrigane and Jeanne d'Arc, three operas - Maitre Ambros, Les pêcheurs de Saint-Jean and Nerto. Chamber works: another piano quintet, a piano quartet, two violin sonatas and a cello sonata. Some of this sounds as if it might be attractive to Timpani, Arion or Pierre Verany.

Rob Barnett

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