Danish Romantic Piano Trios
07 October 2015
David DentonThe musical world has been most unkind to many Danish composers
, keeping them firmly ensconced on the periphery of the standard concert repertoire. That is made abundantly evident in this ravishingly beautiful collection of piano trios from the Romantic era, starting out in the mid 19th century with Niels Gade, a composer strongly influenced by Schumann and Mendelssohn. His early attempt was marked by a single movement that had been completed when he was twenty-two
. Where it was intended to fit into the shape of a complete work is not clear, a long opening Adagio eventually giving way to an Allegro con fuoco. Maybe it lacked the formality of structure of the later work, but it has the attraction of youthful creativity. When he felt able to contribute a major work, it was one of lyrical charm, but with a strength that avoids drama and conflict. His cradle of humanity was of sweet smelling roses
, and days filled with sunshine in the playful scherzo and the dreamy slow movement, both leading to a joyous and much activated finale. We move to the end of the 19th century to find, in the rear-guard of the Romantic era, Peter Erasmus Lange-Muller. Here we have the weight of Brahms, the melodic invention abundant in his use of the sustaining pedal of the piano to thicken the texture, the score, as a whole, making many piano trios that we hear regularly pale into insignificance. Over half an hour in length, you never feel there is one superfluous bar
, the yearning melody introduced by the cello, and which then runs through the second movement, being pure inspiration. The Danish Piano Trio, who have been superb throughout, launch into the exuberant finale with an obvious relish for the score. Another remarkable Dacapo release.