Lake Trio

John Marco, clarinet
Igor Fedotov, viola
Gary Hammond, piano

Select a track number to play that track.

Trio in E flat, K.498

1 I. Andante [5:08]
2 II. Minuetto [5:23]
3 III. Allegretto [8:20]

ALFRED UHL (1909 – 1992)
Kleines Konzert (1937)

4 I. Allegro con brio [6:17]
5 II. Grave [5:09]
6 III. Vivo [4:33]

MAX BRUCH (1838 – 1920)
Eight Pieces, Opus 83

7 No.1 in A minor: Andante [4:14]
8 No.2 in B minor: Allegro con moto [2:29]
9 No.3 in C minor: Andante con moto [6:57]
10 No.4 in D minor: Allegro agitato [3:44]
11 No.5 in F minor: Rumanian Melody Andante [5:39]
12 No.6 in G minor: Andante con moto [6:42]
13 No.7 in B: Allegro vivace, ma non troppo [3:37]
14 No.8 in E minor: Moderato [6:40]

Total Time: 74' 24"

Along with billiards, a favorite pastime of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was a game akin to present day skittles or bowling. In Vienna at that time, this game was popular and often played outdoors with a café area nearby. The popular story is that it was at one of these kegelstatts (pin places) that Mozart sketched out the Trio in E flat for clarinet, viola and piano. Anton Stadler, a close friend of Mozart's and one of Vienna's foremost clarinetists, was the player for whom the work was written. There is a comfortable, highly melodious quality to this piece, with each of the three performers actively participating, creating the feeling of being among friends. The first movement is gracefully cast in sonata form. The second movement is a proud minuet and a trio section featuring fleet viola passages. A breezy melody begins the last movement, a rondo replete with delightful exchanges among the three instruments.

Alfred Uhl vas a foremost Austrian composer in the mid Minieth century. A neoclassicist with a vigorous an oven angular style, his music employs extended tonality she what in the manner of Protoney. His output includes FIm scores, an opera, choral works, and a considerable number of chamber works. Kleines Konzert was written in 1937, shortly before he returned to Vienna from several years composing in Switzerland. The work is the first of several he wrote for Leopold Wlach (1902 - 1956), the principal clarinetist of the Vienna Philharmonic and Austria's most celebrated clarinetist of that time. The composer's early style is evident in the work's clearly delineated form, rhythmic vitality, harmonic sophistication and technical brilliance. Brimming with assertive vigor, the first movement is cast in sonata form and features a cadenza with clarinet and viola playing in octaves. A sinister sounding second movement gives way to an openly melodic middle section. The swirling lines of the last movement alternate with sections laced with irony and an urgently serious central section.

The presence of so great a contemporary as Brahms undoubtedly denied Max Bruch a more prominent place among of masters of the late Romantic Period. Be that as it may, his music reveals a composer in full command of his craft. Beautiful melodies, lovingly scored, lend to his work an immediate appeal which invites the listener deeper. Later in his life, as the more abstract styles of the early twentieth century appeared, Bruch deliberately sought through his conservative approach to keep his music accessible to the largest possible audience. This is evident in his Eight Pieces, Op. 83. Written in 1911 for his son Felix, a clarinetist, each piece exudes lyricism. The inclusion of a viola adds a greater and somewhat darker range of timbres. As the choice of minor keys for all but one piece suggests, a sense of seriousness or melancholy is prevalent. (The anomaly, Number 7, is a pleasant romp in the key of B.) Usually three or four of the pieces are included on an individual program, but all eight can work well if offered with other pieces that provide enough variety and contrast.

© 2009 Partita Records. This CD digitization was produced by Jordan Bancino at the request of Igor Fedotov.