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Louis Ferdinand: Complete Piano Trios Vol 1 / Trio Parnassus

Release Date: 01/24/2006 
Label:  Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold Catalog #: 3031347   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Louis Ferdinand
Performer:  Michael GrossWolfgang SchröderChia Chou
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parnassus Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Trio Parnassus (Wolfgang Schröder, violin; Michael Gross, cello; and Chia Chou, piano) have recorded several complete sets of the piano trio literature, including those of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Brahms, andmany other less renowned composers. (This CD may well be their last with the above group of players; in May 2005, violinist Yamei Yu replaced Wolfgang Schröder.)

The Trio Parnassus has made something of a specialty of unearthing trios by composers whom they consider unjustly forgotten or neglected, e.g., Bargiel, Turina, Scharwenka, Casella, and others. And because the Parnassus is a superb group, they have Read more succeeded in giving new life to these works.

Prince Louis Ferdinand is a perfect example of a composer whose music deserves to be resuscitated for the present-day repertoire, for he was a very gifted and well-schooled composer. His life story is the stuff of romantic legend: born into royalty (he was the nephew of Frederick the Great), he was a virtuoso pianist and composer, as well as a swordsman and soldier, losing his life on the battlefield at the untimely age of 34. He was admired by Beethoven, who dedicated his Third Piano Concerto to him; and Beethoven’s influence, especially in matters of form, can be perceived in Louis Ferdinand’s compositional style. But perhaps even more remarkable in his style are the characteristics that would later prevail in the works of the early Romantics, especially in the piano-writing of Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Dussek (who had been Louis Ferdinand’s teacher). All of Louis Ferdinand’s music, consisting almost entirely of chamber works with piano, from trio to octet (there is one rondo for piano and orchestra), was published.

The Piano Trio, op. 2, is a most attractive work. It shows Louis Ferdinand as a natural melodist like Mendelssohn, full of ideas, and carrying out structural procedures in the classical tradition. The second movement, a variations set, is based upon a melting, rubato-laden theme. The variations follow the usual standard styles—varying tempos and figurations, one variation in minor—and feature virtuosic piano-writing. Despite this brilliance, the string parts are balanced and integrated into the texture, so that there is interplay among the instruments.

The Grosses Trio, op. 10, is more in a concertante style, with cascades of figuration such as runs in thirds and sixths brilliantly dotting the piano part. Dussek praised it in a letter to Breitkopf und Härtel in 1806, shortly before Louis Ferdinand’s death: “HRH has . . . composed another trio that in my opinion surpasses all his other works in regard to taste, feeling, and individuality.” Louis Ferdinand’s use of thematic links throughout the movements of the trio effectively ensures a unifying element.

The Trio Parnassus plays with nuance and total confidence. Their ensemble is excellent, in the true chamber music sense of balanced voices and shared materials. As usual, MDG’s superb recording enhances this balance.

The excellent Göbel Trio of Berlin recorded the op. 2 Trio on Thorofon several years ago with a different companion work (op. 3, equally compelling). Their playing is also superbly polished, with similar views in interpretation. The Trio Parnassus has a slight edge, perhaps, with a more passionate and youthful energy.

Enthusiastically recommended.

FANFARE: Susan Kagan
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Works on This Recording

Trio for Piano and Strings in A flat major, Op. 2 by Louis Ferdinand
Performer:  Michael Gross (Cello), Wolfgang Schröder (Violin), Chia Chou (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parnassus Trio
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Princely Riding School, Arolsen, Germany 
Length: 32 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Princely Riding School, Arolsen, Germany (09/23/2004 - 09/25/2004) 
Trio for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 10 by Louis Ferdinand
Performer:  Chia Chou (Piano), Wolfgang Schröder (Violin), Michael Gross (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parnassus Trio
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Princely Riding School, Arolsen, Germany 
Length: 26 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: Princely Riding School, Arolsen, Germany (09/23/2004 - 09/25/2004) 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Unexpectedly delicious September 26, 2013 By Anthony G. (SANTA FE, NM) See All My Reviews "I purchased Ferdinand's Trios Volumes 1 and 2 out of sheer curiosity, and I was completely ravished by their beauty and depth. Of the thousands of cds that I own, I replay these 2 volumes of his trio collection repeatedly more than any other composers'. I count myself truly fortunate to have encountered Ferdinand's music in my lifetime. I long to share his compositions with my fellow Classical Music lovers everywhere and wish more of it were available. I urge you to purchase both cds and hear for yourself what wonderful treasures they are." Report Abuse
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