Lendvai String Trio: MARTINŮ, FRANÇAIX, ENESCU on STONE RECORDS Print E-mail
Classical Reviews - Composers & Works
Written by Phillip Scott   
Monday, 13 May 2013

MARTINŮ String Trios Nos. 1 and 2. FRANÇAIX String Trio. ENESCU Aubade Lendvai String Trio STONE 5060192780079 (55:50)

This collection brings together four works for string trio composed in Paris by one Frenchman (Jean Françaix) and two immigrants: Bohuslav Martinů from Czechoslovakia and Georges Enescu from Romania. The bulk of the program is taken up with Martinů’s two trios, which spanned the length of his stay as a young man in the French capital. The First, written in 1923 but only rediscovered six years ago, is instantly recognizable, whereas the Second, of 1934, contains few of the composer’s usual rhythmic or melodic fingerprints. The latter work begins the disc, and the vitality and tautness of its opening is bracingly conveyed by the Lendvai String Trio (Nadia Wijzenbeek, violin, Ylvali Zilliacus, viola, and Marie Macleod, cello). When the music opens up, sounding at times quasi-improvisational, these excellent musicians follow the composer’s mood shifts to the letter. Macleod’s solo passages introducing the lyrical Poco moderato are beautifully played: fluid phrasing combined with rich tone. The trio’s unanimity of attack and expression is equally impressive. What terrific string players we have these days, and not only in quartets!

The Françaix Trio from 1933 is in four short movements. Like almost all of his music it is perky, high-spirited, and succinct; the Lendvai is very good at teasing out every underlying lyrical impulse, as well as several moments of sheer comedy. Enescu’s Aubade of 1899 jogs along in a relaxed triple meter to round off a charming and unusual program. This is one of the most attractive discs of chamber music to come my way in years. Phillip Scott    


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