Turina: Piano Trio No. 1; Piano Trio No. 2; Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 67; Círculo, Op. 91

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COMPOSERS: Turina
LABELS: Claves
WORKS: Piano Trio No. 1; Piano Trio No. 2; Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 67; Círculo, Op. 91
PERFORMER: Damocles Trio; Lawrence Dutton (viola)
CATALOGUE NO: 50-2409
Studying in Paris like other Spaniards, Joaquin Turina was unusual in following the Franck-D’Indy school. His chamber music suggests a laconic admirer of Chausson with a will to make the style’s internal struggles for ascendancy take place between themes of French and Andalucian character. At its finest, in the finales of Trio No. 2 and the Piano Quartet, the music achieves a complex, balanced integration of its elements. There’s plenty of formal originality, and more than once an opening movement sounds set to run for 20 minutes, only to short-cut to a bracing end while leaving threads to be taken up later. Most concise of all, Círculo uses a dawn-to-dusk metaphor to make energy grow, flourish and fade. All written between 1926 and 1936, the pieces have a similar way of boiling up to chunky rhetorical climaxes, often with sweeping strings in octaves, which the Damocles Trio brings off with great swagger. Often, though, the most fetching moments fall outside the main action. The contrasted dance variations of Trio No. 1 and the superimposed speeds in the tiny scherzo of No. 2 are elliptical delights, played with finesse, and the recording keeps them intimate without getting swamped by big build-ups. Robert Maycock

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