Heinrich von  Herzogenberg

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Trio in D Major, Op.61 for For Piano, Oboe & Horn

"In 1889, Herzogenberg composed his Trio in D for oboe, horn & piano, Op.61. Works for this combination are quite rare. This trio not only has a modern, almost neo-classical, feel to it, but it also shows none of Brahmsí influence. In four short movements, it is not written on as grand a scale, but is more intimate. The main theme to the opening Allegretto has a genial march quality to it, but the music is never allowed to become boisterous. The part writing leaves nothing to be desired. There is some wonderful, sparkling interplay between the piano and the oboe while the way in which the horn weighs in is both original and charming. Next comes an excellent Presto. After a short piano introduction, the horn and oboe present the lively hunt theme. In this movement, Herzogenberg reveals how well he knows the instruments and the way they combine. The short trio section, as might be expected, is quiet and somewhat slower. It retains just a hint of the hunting rhythm which allows for a very smooth transition to the scherzo. The writing in this presto for the oboe and the horn is masterful and shows them off to their best advantage. It is hard to imagine that they could be combined any better. The following Andante con moto really does not lend itself to motion. It is a slow and stately processional led by the horn, which toward the end is given a lovely long solo passage. The word brio is missing from the title to the finale, Allegro, but it belongs there. The main theme, in the piano, bubbles forth whilst the winds make meaningful rhythmic contributions. The music is at times neo-classical and at others a modern version of the French musette. The melodies are clever and charming, the rousing coda superb. This is a masterpiece which should be heard in concert. Amateurs are also encouraged to obtain this work.."

-----Armin Hochbauer writing in The Chamber Music Journal

The Austrian composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843-1900) was greatly influenced by Brahms and while one can sometimes hear this influence, what is striking is the amount of original and fresh thoughts there are, notwithstanding the influence of Brahms. His chamber music is unquestionably first rate and some of it made Brahms envious.

As Herr Hochbauer has written, the work is a masterpiece not to be missed. Our edition has added rehearsal letters for ease of performance.


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