One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,670 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


available from:

Sergei Ivanovich TANEYEV (1856-1915)
Trio in D, Op. 21 (1880) [25.13]
Mark J. LENZ

Three by Three (1997) [8.31]
Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)

Fantasia No. 1, Z.732 (1680) [3.46]
David Alan EARNEST (b.1960)

String Trio No. 2 (1998) [20.17] music available from
Langroise Trio: Geoffrey Trabichoff, violin; David Johnson, viola, Samuel Smith, cello
rec. 1999, Langroise Recital Hall, Campus of Albertson College of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho, USA.
Notes in English. Photo of artists.
LANGROISE TRIO 60355 36502 [58.10]

Comparison Recordings:
Taneyev Trio, Belcanto Strings MDG 834 1003-2
Purcell Fantasia. London Baroque, EMI 7 63066-2

Sergei Taneyev, student and friend of Tchaikovsky, first to perform the B minor piano concerto, a founder and director of the Moscow Conservatory, teacher of Prokofiev and many others, has finally come into his own as a composer in the West. Long popular in Russia, it has been little more than fifteen years since that first Western recording of his Piano Quintet awakened curiosity for more of his music. With release of Russian recordings as well as new Western recordings much of his excellent chamber, vocal and symphonic music is now available to us. Even his less talented uncle Alexander has now had some of his music recorded!

This recording by the Langroise Trio of the Op. 21 was the first made in the West. The chosen acoustic blends the sound and makes these three instruments sound almost orchestral in effect. On the other hand the Belcanto strings are more closely recorded and play beautifully, but appear to be so concerned with beauty of sound and the arc of their phrases that the dramatic structure of the music is not so effectively projected.

We read about how many sixteenth through eighteenth century composers began to study law and then switched to music as a career. Mark Lenz, formerly trombonist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, went the other way, switching from music to the law, practising currently in Reno, Nevada, USA. The three movements of this work for two cellos, played here in a transcription for cello and viola, are named, respectively, Hindemistic, Elgaronne, and Shostafuga. My observation is that the names were likely added after the fact, since the music gets on quite well without them, and we do not hear profoundly ingenious parodies, only a celebration of the sound of string instruments.

Heard between these works, the Purcell sounds amazingly modern. The remnants of modal harmonic practice in Purcellís phrases resonate well with the neo-modal harmonies of the surrounding works. The London Baroque play viols, in an authentic staccato phrased, necessarily equal-tempered performance, whereas the Langroise Trio play in just intonation on members of the violin family, allowing us the full flavor of Purcellís ripe and pungent harmonies. This is an affectionate but not sentimental performance.

The most remarkable work on this disk is the Earnest Trio, in particular the first movement. Like most great composers, Earnest freely borrows phrases and moods from other composers, fully assimilating these influences into his own art. The first moments of this work might be said to depict Philip Glass meeting César Franck, but the impression is only momentary as the music sweeps onward with its own authentic and vitally compelling logic. As we explore this rich tonal landscape, there are moments of aggressive dissonance, not unlike middle period Bartók, but the overall shape of the music is solidly neo-Romantic. With each hearing, this work further ingratiates itself and I will be very surprised if Earnest is not soon universally recognized as one of the major musical personalities of the early twenty-first century. Fortunately his works are frequently performed by the Langroise Trio, among others and samples of his music can be heard at

Paul Shoemaker



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.