Cherubini/Cambini: String Trios

Pale green early floral

Trio Hegel
Tactus TC740001

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hese two composers’ music could scarcely be more different; Giuseppe Maria Cambini’s three trios, op. 2, are easy-going pieces, the first pair consisting of two movements while the third adds a slow movement to the pattern, while Cherubini’s “string trios” are, in fact, nothing of the sort – rather they are instrumental performances of solfeggi  written for the composer’s singing students at the Paris Conservatoire! While the former are aimed at amateur performers (and audiences), the latter must have filled Cherubini’s pupils with dread, such are the demands, in terms of both range and contrapuntal complexity.

The present performers are, let us say, more comfortable in the Cambini than the Cherubini – the String Trio is an unforgiving medium, with even the slightest slip instantly brought to note, and regretfully there are quite a few to endure; these really are extremely virtuoso chamber concertos with the technical demands spread across the board.

Brian Clark