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Delectable Pieces: The Volkert-Walther String Trio
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1956): Trio (after the Sonata for Piano Op. 118, No. 3)
Peter TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Three Pieces,
String Quartet No.3
Bohemian Dance Op.39 No.14
Humoresque Op.10 No.2
Edward MACDOWELL (1861-1908): Woodland Sketches Op. 51,
To a Wild Rose
By Fireside
By a Meadow Brook
At an Old Place
From Uncle Remus
Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962):

Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
Toy Soldiers March,
Victor HERBERT (1859-1924) Four Selections for String Trio,
Always do as People say You should ("The Fortune Teller")
Italian Street Song ("Naughty Marietta")
Kiss Me Again ("Mlle. Modiste")
Czardas ("The Fortune Teller")
Mark Volkert violin, Geraldine Walther viola, Jan Volkert cello
Arrangements by Mark Volkert
Recorded at Hallcraft Studios, Pleasant Hill, CA, USA, 2003
CON BRIO CBR233 [49:15]

 

Chamber music CDs rarely contain such a diversity of composers as are collected here. Such a disc must have some additional appeal to make its release worthwhile and here it is the arrangements that provide that attraction. Mark Volkert is the driving force behind this recording yet he modestly does not refer to information about his arrangements in his CD notes. We have to turn to the case inlay to read this credit. Volkert's arrangements are attractive and are played with good pace that gives a fresh appeal to the pieces.

The playing is excellent, which is just as well since the fairly closely-miked sound stage would have amplified any errors. There is optimum balance between players, but on occasions I would have liked to have more variation introduced with regard to dynamics. To a Wild Rose is a delicate piece where a more pianissimo accompaniment by viola and cello could have been used to advantage, for example. The studio acoustic adds an attractive bloom in resonance for the lower register of the cello and this gives an enhanced richness to the recording.

The potted notes in English give a brief comment on the composers and their pieces as well as biographies of the soloists.

Raymond Walker

 



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