Franck, Eduard: Piano Trios - Edinger, Claret, Hellwig
Classical - Chamber
Eduard Franck: Piano Trio in E minor Op. 11, Piano Trio in D major Op. 58
Christiane Edinger (violin)
Lluís Claret (cello)
Klaus Hellwig (piano)
With this SACD audite continues its Eduard Franck series.
Franck’s chamber music possesses special qualities, without question making him a distinguished artist. He was inspired by his friends Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn – who also taught him – as well as by the formal models of Viennese Classicism.
The piano trios Op. 11 and Op. 58, two large-scale and sound-intensive works, are amongst Franck’s most attractive compositions. Both works display an impressive compositional aplomb and a rich palette of stylistic devices. Today, Eduard Franck is considered a mediator between the generations of the main masters, a link between Schumann and Mendelssohn on the one hand and Bruch, Brahms and Bruckner on the other. The richness of these rediscovered works is surprising even a century after Franck’s death. By recording his orchestral works and his chamber music, audite brings Franck’s oeuvre to our attention.
Review by Mark Novak - May 7, 2009
Eduard Franck was a student of Mendelssohn and a friend of Robert Schumann. His music is soldily romantic in nature and a pleasure to listen to. I have all of the Audite releases of his music (orchestral works, concertos and chamber music) most of which are on RBCD. This SACD captures his two piano trios in excellent performances and sound.
I have long been a fan of Christiane Edinger's violin playing and she is the star in these works. The trios clearly feature the violin and Edinger handles the challenge wonderfully. Her intonation is excellent and she plays with appropriate emotion that helps make these works appealing. No, they are not as memorable as the Mendelssohn or Brahms trios but you would be poorer for not having heard them. The contributions from Claret ('cello) and Hellwig (piano) are also excellent and the ensemble is tight.
Sonically, this is nearly ideal (stereo). Balance between the instruments sounds pretty ideal to me and the acoustic (a German high school music auditorium) has just enough resonance to put me in the hall itself without obscuring the instrumental lines. As a recording this gets close to the ideal that Audite has established in its nearly complete Shostakovich quartet cycle. If you are looking for a superb recording of lesser-known romantic chamber music, you could hardly do better than this release. Highly recommended!
Copyright © 2009 Mark Novak and HRAudio.net
Review by John Broggio - April 1, 2010
Eduard Franck studied with Mendelssohn and knew the Schumann's and both these influences are audible in these trios, with Mendelssohn being the stronger of the two to these ears. This makes the music firmly in the mainstream Romantic idiom without the personality that Mendelssohn and Schumann exude in their comparable works (or indeed Brahms in his). Still the ideas are very pleasant on the ear and there is a delightful sense of what might have been had Mendelssohn lived longer and nothing outlives its welcome.
The playing is completely at the service of the music and is equally a delight to ear, whether it is Christiane Edinger's violin, Lluis Claret's cello or Klaus Hellwig's piano. They are clearly used to playing as an ensemble and the micromanagement of the tempo and dynamic shading betrays their experience together. At all times the listener is firmly pointed at the emotional core of each movement and of the work as a whole which is tremendously satisfying. The sheer pleasure of the playing is reflected to the listeners and one cannot but smile (inwardly at least) - truly a disc for a rainy day.
The recording too is fully fitting of the playing, made in the larger concert hall of the Music Conservatoire in Lubeck, the balance between all three players is very natural. In particular, the engineers (and Hellwig) deserve praise for the tone quality of the piano - it is not in the least harsh and just sings. Heard in surround, then all have a clearly defined position and the hall ambience is very nice indeed without ever intruding on the conciousness of the listener - just what the music calls for!
Highly recommended for all with an interest in Romantic chamber music.
Copyright © 2010 John Broggio and HRAudio.net