The Leipzig Circle, Volume 1 is the London Bridge Trio's introduction to the musical milieu of Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, and Robert Schumann, who knew each other for a time in Leipzig, but formed bonds of friendship that profoundly influenced their lives. However, this album puts a much-needed emphasis on Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann whose works have languished in the shadows of Felix and Robert, despite Fanny's output of more than 460 compositions, and Clara's international fame as a great composer-pianist. To this end, Fanny Mendelssohn's highly original Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 11 opens the program with a surging flow of energetic repartée, and the intensity of the London Bridge Trio's live performance suggests being swept up in the music's passionate emotions. Felix Mendelssohn's final work for cello and piano was the Song without Words, Op. 109, which provides a lyrical respite before the musicians plunge headlong into Robert Schumann's turbulent and often dark Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 63. Clara Schumann's Three Romances, Op. 22 closes the program with another lyrical work in the vein of the Song without Words, only this time for violin and piano. An opening volume to what may be expected to be a generous collection, this disc marks the London Bridge Trio's debut on the Somm label, and it promises more of this underplayed but deserving Romantic repertoire.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 11|
|Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63|
|Three Romances, Op. 22|