Röntgen: String Trios Nos 1-4

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COMPOSERS: Röntgen
LABELS: Champs Hill Records
ALBUM TITLE: Röntgen: String Trios Nos 1-4
WORKS: String Trios Nos 1-4
PERFORMER: Lendvai String Trio
CATALOGUE NO: CHRCD 068

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A close friend of Brahms and Grieg, the German-born Dutch composer Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) was blessed with a level of compositional fluency normally encountered in the 18th century. Amazingly his output numbers more than 650 works, including 25 symphonies, 16 concertos, 3 operas and copious amounts of chamber music. Needless to say, only a fraction of his compositions were published or performed during his lifetime, but in recent years recording companies such as CPO have made praiseworthy efforts to secure a much wider dissemination of some of his orchestral music.

The same missionary zeal underpins the present release featuring the first four of the 16 String Trios Röntgen composed between 1915 and 1930. These prove to be captivating discoveries, full of fresh and memorable thematic invention, performed here by the Lendvai String Trio with great energy and musical commitment. Each work, composed in what might be termed a post-Brahmsian style, has its own distinctive merits. In the First and Second Trios, I’d highlight the haunting and melancholic slow movements, which provide an admirable contrast to the generally cheerful disposition of the rest of these works.

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Erik Levi