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Ludwig THUILLE (1861-1907)
Piano Quintet in G minor (1880) [21.08]
Piano Quintet in E flat major Op. 20 (1901) [41.43]
Oliver Treindl (piano)
Vogler String Quartet
rec. 23-26 August 2004, Studio 10 Deutschland Radio. DDD
CPO 777 090-2 [63.03] 



There is little to choose interpretatively speaking between the same coupling issued on ASV CD DCA 1171 a couple of years ago and this new CPO version. Both Tomer Lev and the Falk Quartet (ASV) and Treindl and Vogler give spirited performances. The CPO versions are quicker but not by much overall. On the other hand the CPO acoustic is not as transparently revealing as that chosen by the ASV team. The strenuous and tormented romantic melos is perhaps warmer and more engulfing in the hands of Treindl who is accustomed to the revival of romantic repertoire. He recorded two volumes of Fuchs’ violin sonatas for Thorofon. Clearly he also knows his Thuille as his recording of the Piano Concerto - on CPO again – surely proclaims.

The first of the two piano quintets is more intensely romantic and Brahmsian. The E flat major work is in four movements against the G minor work’s three. The writing was accomplished between the premiere of one opera (Gugeline) and the completion of the other (Lobetanz). It is also almost twice as long as the G minor. With it one instantly senses a maturity and a mastery although only twenty years separate the two works. There are some shades of expressionist sympathies in this work which are completely absent from the G minor. We also hear some tearfully affecting lyrical writing too as in the Adagio at 6:33 onwards. A thorough-going masculine urgency and optimism is refulgent throughout the finale but there is also a lithe and inventive fantasy to be heard in the pizzicato pages of the finale.

Can we now beg that rather than duplicating discs Thuille’s unrecorded or rarely recorded works are tackled. There is a clamant need for recordings of the cello sonata and the two violin sonatas.

Two stirring late-romantic piano quintets that deserve to be heard and celebrated. 

Rob Barnett

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