Notes and Editorial Reviews
What a find: lyrical, warm-hearted music unjustly neglected or so long
With enterprising record companies digging out more and more fringe repertoire, every so often one discovers a first rate composer one simply hasn’t heard of before. The Swiss musician Volkmar Andreae studied at the Cologne Conservatoire under Franz Wüllner, who conducted early performances of Wagner’s Ring operas and admired both Brahms and Bruckner. Andreae followed in his wake and was repetiteur at the Munich Royal Opera when his First Piano Trio appeared in 1901. He went on to direct the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra for 43 years. His Second Trio arrived in 1914.
Like much music written by conductors, the works have undeservedly fallen by the wayside. Both Trios open with an immediately endearing main theme and their invention thoughout is consistently memorable. The influence of Brahms is strong (especially in the richly scored slow movements) but in the central scherzando section of the Adagio of No 1 there is a lighter mood that reminds one a little of the easier-going Dvorák. The attractive lilting finale, too, has similar reminders. The Adagio of the Second Trio, whose first movement is obviously more mature, has a profound expressive depth and its gentle ending is wonderfully serene. The third movement moves swiftly at first but its lyricism predominates in a yearning middle section; then the opening theme dances back and combines with the lyrical material. The finale gallops into action and is essentally lighthearted, but again the richly lyrical melody is at its core. Both works deserve to be in the performing repertoire.
Accomplished and warm-hearted performances by the ideally balanced Locrian Trio, and the recording is first class. If you enjoy the chamber music of Brahms and Dvorák, I urge you to try this coupling; you won’t be disappointed.
-- Ivan March, Gramophone [8/2007]