2020
53,674 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

a

 

 



selling Internationaly

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

Some items
to consider



£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


 

Recordings of the Month

July


KAPSBERGER
Che fai tù? - Villanelles


Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel


SHOSTAKOVICH
violin concertos - Ibragimova


Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov


The Complete Lotte Schöne

June


Beethoven String Quartets


Produzioni Armoniche


Seven Symphonic Poems


Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons


Vivaldi Violin Concertos

 

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) 
Piano Trio in G minor Op. 17 (1846) [24:35]
Fanny MENDELSSOHN (1805-1847)
Piano Trio in D minor Op. 11 (1847) [24:35]
String Quartet in E flat major (1834) [18:51]
The Nash Ensemble
rec. 2019, S. Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London
HYPERION CDA68307 [71:49]

Clara Schumann was a child prodigy and, like Mozart, was carefully trained by her father for her eventual highly successful career as a concert pianist. She also learned to compose and wrote chiefly piano music and songs, later with the encouragement of her husband Robert Schumann, until his death. After that she abandoned composition to concentrate on her performing career as a pianist, since she was left with a large family to support.

Her Piano Trio is one of only two chamber works that she left (the other was a set of Three Romances for violin and piano). It was written in 1846, before any of her husband’s three works in this form; it actually inspired the first of them. It is in four movements, in the classical model with fast outer movements, a scherzo second movement and a lyrical third. It begins with Beethovenian seriousness though later moves to an idiom more like that of her husband. The scherzo has an elfin character which reminded me of the fairy music of Mendelssohn, who was their friend. The third has a beautiful melody, first announced on the piano, and the finale again strikes a Beethovenian note and features a fugal passage which impressed Mendelssohn and Joseph Joachim. The writing throughout is confident and idiomatic and one can only regret that she did not write more chamber music.

Fanny Mendelssohn (sometimes also referred to as Fanny Hensel, using her husband’s surname) was also a virtuoso pianist but was not given the same encouragement to compose as her brother Felix. However, in adult life she and her brother were close, encouraging each other’s compositions and offering each other friendly criticism. She was also close to Clara Schumann, and she wrote her own Piano Trio a year after Clara’s. Sadly, it was one of Fanny’s last compositions as she died early of a stroke. Her Trio is a bold and forceful work with a particularly demanding piano part. Like its model, it is in four movements. The influence of Beethoven is clear, and indeed the anger and passion conveyed in the work seems far greater than in the works of her brother. Themes are memorable, and the whole work bristles with energy.

Her string quartet is an earlier work, again in four movements. (Two of them were reworked from an unfinished piano sonata.) Again, this is a rather fierce work, though the central Romanze is in very much the world of early German Romanticism. I found it quite gripping. It is a shame that Felix disapproved of it; this may be why she did not attempt another quartet. (After her death he wrote his F minor quartet Op. 80, his finest, in her memory.)

These performances by members of the Nash Ensemble are full of fire and vigour, with no shortage of expressive nuance when called for. The recording is up to Hyperion’s high standards and the booklet has helpful notes. There are a number of other recordings of all the works here, but mostly coupling Clara’s work with those of her husband and Fanny’s with those of her brother. If you want to leave Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn out of it, or simply want to explore some fine early romantic chamber music, this will do very well. I have been delighted to make the acquaintance of these fine compositions and can thoroughly recommend this coupling. What a shame circumstances prevented these composers from writing more.

Stephen Barber

Performers
Stephanie Gonley and Jonathan Stone (violins), Laurence Power (viola), Adrian Brendel (cello), Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)




Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


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

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
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger