Vienna Piano Trio Archive

Von HERZOGENBERG: Piano Trios – Vienna Piano Trio – SACD

Von HERZOGENBERG: Piano Trios – Vienna Piano Trio – SACD

Von HERZOGENBERG: Piano Trios op. 24 & 36 – Vienna Piano Trio – SACD MDG 942 2017-6, 65: 38, (5/17/17) ****; An exemplar of the the Brahmsian chamber school in two large-scale, absorbing piano trios. (David McCarroll; violin; Matthias Gredler; cello/ Stefan Mendl; piano) The portrait of Heinrich von Herzogenberg included in the notes of this new MDG release merit careful study. We see an elegant figure representative of German High Culture at its artistic acme with a fine wool jacket, silk cravat, and the inevitable pince nez. The beard, not quite as assertive as that of Herr Brahms, is nevertheless impressive, with incipient mustachios adding a dapper accent. The eyes have to be taken in turn. The left stares out into space—or the future— with an astonished fixation, while the right drowsily drifts to the side as if in pleasant contemplation of a familiar scene. On the picture, we notice a stamp from a Berlin photo agency, while the location is the composer’s home, Leipzig, cities that might well stand for the new and the old in German Musical Culture. We learn in the outstanding notes that Herzogenberg was a composer at the crossroads.  Lines had long been drawn-up […]

BRAHMS: Piano Trios – Vienna Piano Trio – MD&G; BRAHMS: Rhapsodies; Piano Sonata 3; Ballade – Mortensen, p. – LAWO

BRAHMS: Piano Trios – Vienna Piano Trio – MD&G; BRAHMS: Rhapsodies; Piano Sonata 3; Ballade – Mortensen, p. – LAWO

BRAHMS: Piano Trios No. 1 – Trio Op. 8  (Version of 1889); Trio Op. 87 ‒ Vienna Piano Trio ‒ MD&G multichannel SACD MDG 942 1962-6 (& 2+2+2); 63:31 (7/8/16) ***1/2: “In Finstrer Mitternach” = BRAHMS: Two Rhapsodies, Op. 74; Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 5; Ballade, Op. 10, No. 1 ‒ Nils Anders Mortensen, p. ‒ LAWO multichannel SACD LWC1084; 58:00 (2/6/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ****: Brahms at midnight and mid-afternoon. I decided to review these recordings together because they started me thinking about the fractious (mostly on one side of the equation) relationship between Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Thanks to Nicolas Slonimsky’s endlessly entertaining Lexicon of Musical Invective, we know that Tchaikovsky was not a fan of Brahms. In a diary entry from 1886, Tchaikovsky noted that he was playing some music by Brahms. His reaction? “What a giftless bastard!” Tchaikovsky did moderate his view when he met Brahms two years later in Leipzig, at the home of violinist Adolph Brodsky. Here, the Russian composer found Brahms a dignified, kindly man and generally had more complementary things to say about his German rival. However, auditing a run-through of Brahms’s new trio—presumably the Trio No. 3, Op. 101—Tchaikovsky was moved […]