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CD Review

Georgi Lvovitch Catoire

Chamber Music

  • Piano Trio in F minor, Op. 14
  • Elegy in D minor
  • Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 31
Room Music
Hyperion CDA67512 55m DDD
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We read from Stephen Coombs' notes that George Catoire was a very peripheral figure in Russian music and it is quite unfair as his music definitely deserves more than the occasional airing. This CD brings together some exquisite chamber music pieces interpreted with zest and vitality by Room Music.

The Piano Trio in F minor is a gloriously sunny work that is comparable to similar works by Arensky and Tchaikovsky. The Allegro moderato is replete with themes and is extremely well constructed on all counts with each instrument seamlessly intertwining with the capable Room-Music providing a superb interpretation.

The same goes for the Allegretto fantastico which is also quite ravishing and all is rounded off in a Molto allegro agitato that brings the work to an extremely satisfying conclusion. It is really a great pity that this work is not better known but at least this recording will somehow begin to redress that balance.

The short Elegy in D minor is nothing but a peaceful interlude but the Piano Quartet in A minor is another important work that deserves better recognition. Again Catoire decides to open with a Moderato that lasts around ten minutes and which again includes much interplay between the piano and the string instruments. The Andante is also beautifully played by Room Music with Philip De Groote's cello proving quite ravishing. All is rounded off in a sprightly Molto allegro that concludes the work in raucous fashion.

Highly recommended to lovers of obscure chamber music and I hope to hear more from this neglected composer.

Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech