Weber: Trio for Piano, Flute and Cello in G minor; Piano Quartet in B flat

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COMPOSERS: Weber
LABELS: DG
WORKS: Trio for Piano, Flute and Cello in G minor; Piano Quartet in B flat
PERFORMER: Kremerata Musica
CATALOGUE NO: 449 209-2
Essentially a man of the theatre, Carl Maria von Weber never exhibited the same degree of interest in writing chamber music as his most famous contemporaries, Beethoven and Schubert. Yet it would be a mistake to write off his achievement in this genre, for the two works presented here offer sufficient moments of interest and melodic inspiration to captivate most listeners.

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The G minor Trio is often performed in a rather demure manner, as if it were simply a refined piece of salon music. Needless to say, the members of Kremerata Musica see the work rather differently, extracting the maximum degree of tonal variety and characterisation from each distinctive melodic idea. Some may feel that the tempo for the opening movement is unduly expansive and that parts of the scherzo and finale are a shade too impetuous, but the commitment of the playing transcends any reservations.

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There’s plenty of commitment, too, in the early Piano Quartet. Guided by Kremer’s inspirational playing, the ensemble makes the best possible case for the work’s revival, balancing Mozartian elegance in the outer movements with a more overtly theatrical approach in the Adagio and Minuet. At 52 minutes, the disc offers rather short measure, but connoisseurs of early 19th-century music shouldn’t hesitate to snap up this delightful release. Erik Levi