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Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932)
The String Trios - Volume 3
String Trio No. 9 in A flat Major [15:35]
String Trio No. 10 in F minor [13:16]
String Trio No. 11 in G minor [17:08]
String Trio No. 12 in A Major [14:13]
Lendvai String Trio
rec. Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, England, 19-21 March 2014
CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD101 [61:12]

Although Julius Röntgen is regarded as a Dutch composer he did not become a citizen until 1919. He was actually German by birth being born in Leipzig on 9 May 1855. His music has recently seen signs of revival with CPO producing many fine discs. This is the second disc in this impressive series that I have, the other being Volume 2 on CHRCD087. Reviews of volume 1 in the Lendvai's series can be found here. I also have the fine recording of the last four String Trios by the Offenburg String Trio on Naxos 8.573384. The Offenburg are a real challenger to the Lendvai. It is a shame that Naxos has not as yet released any more discs in the series.
 
The music contained within the Trios presented on this disc, and in most of the composer's music that I have heard, is quite conservative in outlook. There's no hankering for the modern style. All four Trios were composed between 1923 and 1925, yet they show a romantic nature akin to the music of Röntgen's heroes Schumann and Brahms. Whilst this is not to be criticised, it could explain why only one of his sixteen Trios was published in the composer's lifetime. All the Trios that I have heard are beautifully crafted works in this somewhat outmoded idiom, one which seems to have fallen out of style since the romantics. They all include examples of wonderful short movements, with this present disc being no exception. In fact I am coming to regard this disc as my favourite of the three that I have. Yes, there are no outstanding tunes to get you whistling along but the music presented represents an hour of sheer enjoyment.
 
The playing of the Lendvai String Trio on this disc is stronger than in volume two and is better than that heard on the Offenburg String Trio’s, at present, single disc of the Trios. The music has been captured in excellent sound and the booklet notes by Margaret Krill only serve to heighten the listener's enjoyment. Champs Hill Records should be applauded for championing this neglected music as well as this young ensemble.

Stuart Sillitoe

 

 




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