Classical CD Reviews

GEORGY L’VOVICH CATOIRE: Piano Trio in F Minor; Elegy in D Minor for violin and piano; Piano Quartet in A Minor


Published on May 17, 2005

GEORGY L’VOVICH CATOIRE: Piano Trio in F Minor; Elegy in D Minor for violin and piano; Piano Quartet in A Minor
GEORGY L’VOVICH CATOIRE: Piano Trio in F Minor; Elegy in D Minor for
violin and piano; Piano Quartet in A Minor – Room-Music Quartet -
Hyperion CDA67512, 55:08 ****:

Another
neglected composer brought to collectors’ attention by Hyperion.
Catoire does appear in Baker’s Biographical, but only gets seven lines,
showing some neglect even there. He was a Russian composer of French
descent, born at the start of the U.S. Civil War and died shortly after
the Russian Revolution. Even during his life he was on the musical
sidelines, but these three selections show that he created some
impressive chamber works. He was a champion of Wagner throughout his
life but that composer’s influence was modified by a Russian
temperament. The works abound in glorious melodies and accent the
virtuoso aspects in some thrilling passages. This latter quality is
thought to have accelerated the neglect of Catoire’s music, because it
was so difficult to play. The Piano Quartet shows a strong influence of
Scriabin, especially in the initial movement. There is an involved
interplay among the four instruments not often heard in works for piano
and string trio. These works are a very welcome discovery and lead one
to an interest in the large-scale works from the composer – who stands
out for his exceptional originality.

- John Sunier




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