Léon Boëllmann (1862 – 1897) was a late French romantic composer who had an outstanding reputation among his peers during his lifetime. He was a talented organist and pianist remembered today mostly for his organ works, notably his Suite gothique of 1895. Although his music was largely forgotten shortly after his death, there has been a revival of interest in his chamber music of late. Still, this MD&G CD contains the only currently available recordings of both the Trio for violin, cello and piano, Op. 19 and the Quartet for violin, viola, cello and piano Op. 10.
Both of the major compositions on this disc were written in the last 5 years of Boëllmann’s short life. I feel that the quartet is the more successful of the two works. The trio doesn’t hold together quite as well for me, but it is still very enjoyable with many very lovely sections. Boellmann’s chamber music is suggestive of French romantics, César Franck, Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns. It is melodically graceful, flowing and often very peaceful.
The album concludes with a brief Largo for piano trio that was excerpted from his Heures mystiques. It is only two and a half minutes long, but it is remarkably lovely, with an understated, measured stateliness and a poignantly simple melody. Even the silence that follows it is beautiful. So, this album is highly recommended for collectors of romantic chamber music, especially for the piano quartet and for the two minutes of bliss at the end.
Born in Alsace in 1862, Leon Boëllmann grew up in the political and cultural borderlands of the recently constituted German Empire and the Grande Nation. Even though his parents' family took sides with the French, the influences of his German neighbors are very audible in his music.
The French element is also evident, and Boëllmann's French contemporaries valued it very highly. His Piano Trio op. 19 is extraordinarily appealing in its tonal aspect, rhythmically refined, and surprisingly individual in its form. It was distinguished by the Société des Compositeurs, and the same honor was bestowed on the fully dimensioned Piano Quartet.
On this recording the Trio Parnassus once again present a fascinating discovery and show it to the world in a sound picture that is guaranteed to please.
Léon Boëllmann (September 25, 1862 – October 11, 1897) was a French composer of Alsatian origin, known for a small number of compositions for organ. His best-known composition is Suite gothique (1895), still very much a staple of the organ repertoire, especially… read more
Viola: Gérard Caussé
Gérard Caussé (b. 1948 in Toulouse, France) is a violist. He gave the first performance of the celebrated Ainsi la nuit quartet by Henri Dutilleux. The first movement of Gérard Grisey’s celebrated work, Les Espaces Acoustiques (Prolgue,), is inscribed… read more
Performers: Trio Parnassus
An exceptional sense of colors and emotional values, an unprejudiced zest for new discoveries: these are some of the outstanding features of the Trio Parnassus that music lovers and critics alike have always singled out for praise. … read more
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