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Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Ignaz LACHNER (1807-1895)
Piano Trio in D minor Op. 89
Piano Trio in B flat major Op. 37
Piano Trio in E flat major Op. 102
Piano Trio in D major Op. 56
Piano Trio in C major Op. 103
Piano Trio in G major Op. 45
Stefan Muhmenthaler (violin)
Anna Barbara Dütschler (viola)
Marc Pantillon (piano)
Rec: Tonstudio van Geest, Sandhausen/Heidelberg, 24-28 May 1997, 17-20 Mar 1998
CLAVES CD 50-9802/3 [65.33+78.20]


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Ignaz Lachner was the son of Theodor Lachner (1798-1877). His brothers were Franz (1803-1890) and Vincenz (1811-1893). Franz was the most famous of the sons, much associated with Munich, a composer of abundant energy. There are eight symphonies and extensive songs and chamber music with oratorios, operas (including Benvenuto Cellini, 1849) and church music. Ignaz was also active in Vienna, Hamburg, Stockholm and Frankfurt. He vied with his brother in productivity chalking up three operas including Loreley produced in Munich in 1846.

On the evidence of these six four-movement trios Ignaz was a fluent melodist without the invincible logic of a master of sonata-form. Op. 89 is Beethovenian - a leaf taken from the book of the Spring Sonata. The bubbling cassation of an andantino suggests Scott Joplin. The finale is Mozartian: mercurial, quick-witted. The Op. 37 also recalls Beethoven. It is perhaps an indication of the early opus number that both the andante and the thrawn vigour of the scherzo outstay their welcome. Fortunes are restored by the Op. 102 work which sidles and smiles enchantingly. Op. 58 has an affable flow and the same playful dialogue to be found in Beethoven's Archduke Trio. Lachner cuts a Tchaikovskian dash in the scherzo and injects some fizzing energy in the finale. The Op. 103 feints towards earnest Olympian heights of the Beethoven violin concerto although this is contrasted incidents in which a slightly hysterical joyousness bubbles up. The Op. 45 work is the longest of the lot at more than 33 minutes. Its skirling and rough piping is quite distinctive. The glitter of Haydn and a playfulness laced with tragedy suffuses this work. Listening to all these trios I thought of most often of the affable Beethoven triple concerto, much slighted, but a work for which I have great affection.

This music is hardly ever dull but this is a composer who holds on to his good ideas for a little longer than they can sustain.

Please note that these are not the conventionally specified piano trio. Lachner here substitutes a viola for the more normal cello.

Six unknown piano trios: charmers every one. Superbly documented by Claves. Lovingly played by Muhmenthaler, Dütschler and Pantillon.

Rob Barnett

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