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Posted November 4, 2011
This disc of chamber music by Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) offers solid readings of one of the Parisian composers great works, the Concert in D major, Op. 21 and the Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 3, by the Wihan String Quartet with Eric Larsen, piano and Stephen Shipps, violin, and the Meadowmount Trio, respectively. Originally premiered in 1892 in a performance by the great 19th century virtuoso Eugene Ysaye and the quartet of his student Mathieu Crickboom with Auguste Pierret at the piano, and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, the Concert has remained a stable, if peripheral, part of the chamber music repertoire for the last century and beyond. An admirer of Wagner and pupil of Massenet and Franck, Chausson's music could be described as an amalgam of these influences, yet such a characterization is too dismissive. Chausson's music has its own character, which finds its finest expression in his slower movements, such as the grave from the Concert, in which a melancholic chromaticism inspires thoughts of the fin de siècle Paris of Henry James's The Ambassadors. The The Wihan Quartet performs this work ably and admirably, as do the pianist Larsen and the solo violinist Shipps, who offers a subtle rendition of the work, despite a few tenuous entrances. The Piano Trio is another fine piece, played elegantly by the Meadowmount Trio (comprised of Larsen, Shipps, and cellist Owen Carman). A great disc, well worth a listen.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.