ATOS Trio

Heinrich von Herzogenberg: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2

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Heinrich von Herzogenberg isn't exactly a household name, but due to the rapidly growing catalog of recordings of his music, he can be counted among the handful of second-tier composers of the late nineteenth century who have undergone significant revivals. Granted, much of Herzogenberg's resurgence seems centered in Germany, where recordings on the CPO label seem to be at the vanguard, but the attention paid to his music is worldwide and not likely to fade quickly. This 2008 release of the Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 24, and the Piano Trio No. 2 in D minor, Op. 36, will no doubt please admirers of Herzogenberg's earnest and well-crafted music, though newcomers to this composer may feel a sense of déjà vu because the music has more than a superficial resemblance to the chamber works of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Despite his own prodigious abilities and enormous output, through which he should have discovered his own voice, Herzogenberg was unable to escape the influence of his contemporaries, and their harmonic language and sound world became his as well. Bearing this in mind, the works on this disc are still quite involving and pleasing for their abundant drama and lyricism, and if listeners find that the similarities to Schumann and Brahms are positive features, not weaknesses, then this disc is sure to please. The playing by the ATOS Trio -- made up of violinist Annette von Hehn, cellist Stefan Heinemeyer, and pianist Thomas Hoppe -- is warm and ingratiating, and the exceptional production of Deutschlandradio brings the music across with great clarity, richness, and depth.

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