Offenburg String Trio

Julius Röntgen: The Late String Trios

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Even though Julius Röntgen retired from public musical life in 1924, he was quite prolific in his final years, composing around 230 pieces, including many chamber works. The four string trios on this 2014 Naxos release represent this late output yet hardly seem the work of a composer in his sunset years. Röntgen's music is still openly tonal and cast in the traditional four-movement form of Classical practice, so it is quite conservative, as one might expect from an adherent and friend of Brahms. Yet the music's vitality and spontaneity reflect Röntgen's personal enjoyment in playing trios with his two sons, as well as his habit of writing them quickly. The Offenburg String Trio takes evident pleasure in playing them in a lively conversational manner, as one might imagine they were originally played, and there is a relaxed atmosphere here that allows for some roughness of tone and slight inaccuracies of pitch, presumably in the interest of making the readings sound like a Röntgen family run-through. Naxos provides clean sound that captures everything, though in a rather dry acoustic.

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