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05 Louise FerrencLouise Farrenc – Piano Trios 2 & 4; Variations concertantes; Sonata Op.37
Linos Ensemble
CPO 555 538-2 (


Trio No.2 op. 34

Variations concertante op. 20

Trio No.4 op. 45

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The name Louise Farrenc may not seem an overly familiar one today, but during her lifetime she was a respected composer, pianist and pedagogue. Born Jeanne-Louise Dumont in Paris in 1804, she was very much an “enfant du siècle” and a slightly older contemporary of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. Her first compositions – almost entirely for solo piano – were published in the 1820s, earning praise from the likes of Robert Schumann. By the 1840s, she was turning her attention to chamber works which are now regarded as among the finest in her output, four of which are presented on this attractive CPO recording performed by the German-based Linos Ensemble.

The disc opens with the Trio No.2 Op.34 from 1844. From the outset, the listener is struck by the solidly constructed score, greatly enhanced by the polished and confident performance of pianist Konstanze Eickhorst who, together with violinist Winfried Rademacher and cellist Mario Blaumer, comprise a formidable union. What a joyful sound these musicians produce! Similarly, the Trio for Piano, Flute and Cello No.4 Op.45 from 1856 shows an adept use of counterpoint among the parts, where flutist Kersten McCall shines in a commanding performance. The Variations concertantes sur une mélodie suisse for piano and cello is a charming earlier work written before 1833 while the Violin Sonata No.1 Op.37 from 1848 drew high praise from a Parisien critic. In both cases the two parts are effortlessly integrated resulting in perfect partnerships in this engaging music.

With its attractive melodies and overall fine construction, Farrenc’s music has gone unnoticed for too long and only recently has it been receiving the recognition it deserves. Kudos to the Linos Ensemble for taking steps to further its appreciation.

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