Piano Trios (SACD MDG 942 2017-6)
A rarity (Heinrich von Herzogenberg, anyone?) plus some classic composers and … Philip Glass, but in all his glory.
Heinrich von Herzogenberg was a composer caught between competing musical camps. His early works were avant-garde, but he eventually settled in with the conservatives. The trios here are in the classical chamber music tradition, though very much Brahmsian (the composer was von Herzogenberg’s musical hero). The two trios were written six years apart in 1876 and 1882 and listeners will be tempted to compare them to Brahms’ trios from the same period. Herzogenberg comes off very well. The broad theme of the Allegro suggests nuanced romantic lyricism and the Andante is even more impressive for being less overtly Brahmsian. Both works exhibit moments where he just marks time and sometimes misses just a modicum of rhythmic drive. As for the playing of Vienna Piano Trio, and the recording quality, I have nought but unstinting praise