Monday, May 15, 2017

Thuille, Ludwig. (1861-1907) Chamber Works.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2017.
First listen: 15-5-2017.
Second listen: 10-6-2017.
Third listen: 21/22-6-2017.
Label: CPO. (2 cd's)
Recording dates: July/May/December 2011.
Recording venue: Siemensvilla, Berlin-Lankwitz, Germany.
Recording engineers: Thomas Monnerjahn, Bernd Friebel, Henri Thaan.
Running time: 63:25 & 50:13.
Relevance to me: Well worth having.

Works performed: 
Sonata for Cello & Piano opus 22 in D minor.
Trio for Viola & Piano without opus in E flat major.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor and in E minor, opus 30.

Performed by:
Mark Gothoni, Violin.
Ulrich Eichenauer, Viola.
Peter Hörr, Cello.
Frank-Immo Zichner, Piano.

Thuille proceeded from Viennese Classicism and conservative academicism incorporating elements from the New German School. This tension you can clearly hear in his music, and more or less defines this composer. My opinion is that it makes the music a bit unstable, frequently being on a crossroad, and feeling he cannot decide which way to go. He wanted to steer clear of Richard Strauss modernistic proclivities, but it is clear for me, that he could not keep to this goal. The music has many moments in which the New German school is clearly evident in the writing. The second movement E flat major trio clearly shows this tension. All through his works I feel a little unease, as if the music is forced out, not with a natural speed, but more with power and passion that stings. Thus I have to get used to what I hear. It is harmonious to a certain degree, restless in expression, and wayward in its progression. There is poise, but also dancing and darting moments. The textures are often striking, but for me interrupts the rhythmic pulse a bit too often  While I wouldn't say that I found any epiphanies here, it's all very elegant and thoughtful. The playing is technically flawless. I simply have to come back to this music a bit more often to fully appreciate what is on offer. And in the end that worked, I found the centre of the music.
The recording is a bit forward and the performance a tad pushy, ambiance is almost perfect, so no worries there. Thuille is not an easy composer to tackle, so I would advice to sample before buying.




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