String Trios by Hyde, Smith, Smyth, Wegener
The Hague String Trio
Cobra COBRA0083 59:50 mins
Happily, the number of works by living women composers is increasing, but, as The Hague String Trio demonstrates with this all-female programme, there are still plenty of historic gems to champion, too. Ethel Smyth is the best-known composer here, thanks to a recent surge in popularity (Glyndebourne opens its 2022 season with her opera The Wreckers) that has brought several premiere recordings. Her String Trio – like the other works in this collection – receives its first outing here and again shows Smyth to be capable of powerful, idiomatic writing. The Hague String Trio prises open the lengthy Allegro to reveal the richness of the interior movements, and, if not quite joy, satisfaction in the dance-like finale.
Emmy Frensel Wegener’s five-movement Suite hints at French modernism but, like the other two composers featured, stays rooted in Romanticism. The Hague String Trio gives us a jolly Scherzo and a lingering Andante in this divertimento-style piece.