Ferdinand THIERIOT (1836-1919)
Chamber Music, Volume 1
Piano Quintet in D major, Op. 20 (pub. 1869, 1894) [34:44]
Theme and Variations, Op. 29, for two cellos and piano (1883) [17:21]
String Sextet in D major [25:50]
Hamburg Chamber Players (Ian Mardon (violin); Ilona Raasch (violin); Rudolf Seippel (viola); Julia Mensching (viola); Rolf Herbrechtsmeyer (cello); Martin von Hopffgarten (cello); Yuko Hirose (piano)
rec. 28-30 September 2007, Tymmo-Kirche Lutjensee, near Hamburg. DDD
TOCCATA TOCC0080 [77:55]
Thieriot was born in Brahms city of birth the bustling and affluent Hanseatic commercial metropolis of Hamburg. Like Brahms Thieriot moved toward south Germany via Dresden, Hannover, Vienna and Munich though his final years were spent in Hamburg. The music is in the case of the Piano Quintet strenuously late romantic. It is dense and replete with emotional turmoil and Brahmsian striving in the energetic outer movements. This rubs shoulders with radiant elysian calm in the Adagio. There’s athletic bonhommie and perhaps something of Smetana's Aus Meinem Leben quartet in the scherzo. The Theme and Variations op. 29 are affably Brahmsian reminding me from time to time of Brahms Double Concerto in the writing for the cellos. The yieldingly fluent and stately String Sextet will warm the heart on the chilliest day. Where have these works been all your life?
Having written a great deal including five symphonies Thieriot died in comfortable circumstances in his home on the eastern shore of Hamburg’s central lake, the Alster. His manuscripts languished for years finally being moved from Hamburg State Library in 1943 to eastern Saxony to keep them safe from allied bombing. The triumphant Red Army then removed them from Lauenberg castle to Leningrad where they gathered dust in the Federal Institute for Science and Research. They were returned home somewhat flood-damaged to Hamburg in 1991 since when they have gradually been published.
The excellent notes are by Walter Zielke. They set the scene but say practically nothing about his other works. It would have been good to have trailed some details of his symphonies.
The performances have a golden age security and glow. If his music can be criticised this may lie in its centred and sedate complacency. Even so Brahmsians should try this disc and thank the stars that it is the first of many. Thieriot's shade might well have wondered if his music would ever re-surface. His niche is now secured and we must hope for at least a second volume. Perhaps Thieriot's five symphonies will come to the attention of CPO.
Strenuously late romantic, radiant elysian calm, replete with emotional turmoil and Brahmsian striving. ... see Full Review