One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837)
Piano Trios - Volume 1

Piano Trio No.2 Op.22
Piano Trio No.5 Op.83
Piano Trio No.6 Op.93
Voces Intimae - Riccardo Cecchetti (fortepiano), Luigi De Filippi (violin), Sandro Meo (cello)
Recorded at Teldex Studio, Berlin, March 2004
THOROFON CTH 2510 [60.52]


Some of Hummelís trios have been taken up over the years by major ensembles Ė the Borodins have recorded three for Chandos for instance Ė but recently Iím aware of only one widely available integral set, by the Parnassus Trio on MDG, who have given us all seven. The Beaux Arts set of Nos 1, 3, 4 and 7 on Philips seems now to have been deleted.

Though they are sometimes unequal in terms of melodic distinctiveness the trios are a microcosm of Hummelís status as a forward looking, harmonically adventurous classicist Ė and itís above all his gift for lyricism that elevates them beyond those chamber works of his less gifted contemporaries; another reason why they have retained a hold in the repertoire. Voces Intimae is an Italian original instrument ensemble and they bring new insights in terms of balance and matters timbral. Though they begin the Op.22 rather tentatively this is deceptive; the Allegro moderato builds up a head of fugal steam and stately brio is held in check. Similarly the rustic pizzicatos of the slow movement Ė a series of variations Ė show good characterisation as indeed does the elasticated (rubber bandy) sound the cellist generates in the finale. The trio does its best for the overlong and frankly over extended Allegro of Op.83 but they really score in the finale where they etch things with immediacy and colour; some rough edges here and elsewhere itís true but the aim is for immediacy and character.

Op.93 is not as well known or as often performed as the slightly later No.7 (Op.96) and its rather inert fugal sections in the opening movement can come across as academic rather than inspired. But I liked this trioís fleet tempo for the larghetto with elegantly reduced string dynamics and much attractive lyricism. There are occasional recording inconsistencies in balancing of the instruments and the notes donít go into many specifics concerning the individual trios but these are relatively minor matters. Given that these are original instrument traversals they tend to stand apart from the Parnassus complete set but they have the merit of tangy sonorities and a keen ear for colour.

Jonathan Woolf

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.