An established ensemble gives new voice to Hungarian string trios

The Strad Recommends: Trio Boccherini: Hungarian String Trios


The Strad Issue: June 2024

Description: An established ensemble gives new voice to Hungarian string trios

Musicians: Trio Boccherini

Works: Dohnányi: Serenade in C op.10. Kodály: Intermezzo László Weiner: Serenade Leó Weiner: String Trio in G minor op.6

Catalogue number: BIS BIS-2107 (SACD)

Trio Boccherini, celebrating a decade together, offers strongly characterised performances of these four rewarding works, achieving flawless ensemble and a beautiful blend of sound.

Leó Weiner, Kodály and Dohnányi all contributed to the forging of a new Hungarian national style. The clearly defined textures of Weiner’s youthful 1908 Trio are immediately arresting, aided by a surround sound of glowing clarity. The tightness of the Boccherini’s ensemble is evident in the vigorous syncopated rhythms of the Vivace movement.

Kodály’s 1905 Intermezzo is a chamber music gem. There is some beautifully delicate playing from violinist Suyeon Kang and violist Vicki Powell and a touching ending as the little procession goes off jauntily into the distance.

In Dohnányi’s five-movement Serenade, a masterpiece of string trio writing, the players relish the many contrasts in texture and take the skittering fugue in its central Scherzo at a virtuosic pace.

The as-yet unpublished Serenade (1938) by László Weiner, a pupil of Kodály who perished in the Holocaust, is a striking addition to the repertoire, the outer movements densely motivic, and the central Adagio full of restrained emotion.