Trio Leandro = DEBUSSY: Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp; CHITI: Prelude d’Automne; GENZMER: Trio for Flute, Viola and Harp; LAVRY: Suite Concertante; JOLIVET: Petite Suite – Andrea Soldan, viola/ Lena Fitoussi, harp/ Robert Buchwald, flute – NCA multichannel SACD 60158-207, 65:20 [Distr. by Naxos] *****:
The Trio Leandro – whose name is made from abbreviations of its three members’ names – was formed in 2003 around the instrumentation of the lovely Debussy Sonata performed here, and to play other works composed for or transcribed for the same trio combination.
Debussy called his work a sonata even though it is really a suite of three movements: Pastorale, Interlude, and Finale. The composer first thought of using an oboe in the work instead of a viola, but the lower string instrument makes it more of a modern sounding work. The second movement turns into a multifacted dance event. The Finale is based on organ sounds. While the short Chiti Prelude honors Debussy’s pathbreaking piece, the Genzmer Trio takes the special instrumentation in a different direction. Genzmer, however, writes in a fully diatonic style, convinced that Richard Strauss was the most important composer of the 20th century. The Jolivet Suite is a youthful work, its second movement closely following Debussy’s impressionistic model. He believed strongly in the flute’s spiritual powers.
The surround layer neatly places the three performers across the sound stage. This is one of the most enjoyable chamber music albums I’ve heard in some time.
– John Sunier