A pleasant and charming hour
Evan Wilson | Cambridge, MA | 07/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mention the names of Ignaz Moscheles and Sigismund Thalberg and most music lovers might remember that they once were famous touring piano virtuosi. Few, however, could hum a single bar of their music.This disc serves as a pleasant reminder that they were both composers as well as performers. It also provides some indication of why their music doesn't appear in the modern concert hall.Both of these pieces are well-crafted specimens of mid-period Romanticism. There are memorable moments in both. (The slow movement of the Thalberg is based on a melody that will linger with you. The Moscheles contains a charming mock-Scottish scherzo.) You will certainly pass a pleasant hour in their company.However, it isn't for no reason that the large-scale opening movements of both pieces are the least memorable parts. Neither composer seems capable of offering the dramatic development or soulful melody needed to elevate these pieces to a truly memorable level. Still, it's sad that these trios--and, in particular, the Thalberg--don't get played once in awhile. Well, at least we have this CD. The Gobel-Trio plays with a fine romantic sense without trying to inflate the pieces too much, but they are a slightly wiry sounding group. If the fare peaks your interest, don't let that stop you.If you like this disc, I can recommend the Moscheles symphony on Signum and the Thalberg piano concerto recorded on Naxos. Both offer the same mild, but pleasant diversion I found here."