Josef Labor chamber works of exceptional beauty

Two years ago I reviewed the Joseph Labor Piano Quintets released by Capriccio. I said, “Anyone who enjoys Fin de siècle late-Romanticism should find much to like here.” Some of those same artists return to present more of Labor’s chamber music. And my assessment still holds.

Josef Labor was a blind organist, pianist, and composer, active in turn of the century Vienna. He worked with composers such as Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss. And he taught several others, including Arnold Schoenberg.

The works on this release are of exceptional beauty. The 1897 Cello Sonata in A major celebrates the singing tone of the solo instrument. Floris Mihinders performs with deep expression that makes this work such a joy to listen to.

The 1893 Violin Sonata in D minor is also beautiful. Here, though, I heard more of Brahms than perhaps Labor’s own voice. Violinist Nina Karmon and pianist Oliver Triendl, who also worked on the quintet album, make a great team. Their performances sounded like a conversation between good friends.

The real standout for me, though, was the Theme and Variations for horn and piano. The theme was absolutely gorgeous, especially played by Premysl Vojta. His pure, clear tone was a joy to listen to.

 Joseph Labor: Sonatas for Violin and Cello
Nina Karmon, violin; Floris Mijinders, cello; Premysl Vojta, horn; Oliver Triendl, piano
Capriccio C5430


More Recent Posts

  • This Saturday: WTJU live broadcasts from the Community Chalkboard rededication

    Earlier this year, The Bridge PAI became the owner and caretaker of the Community Chalkboard on Charlottesville’s downtown mall. All this week, The Bridge is celebrating a rededication of the community chalkboard with art and performances of all kinds. This Saturday, September 18th, WTJU will air two live music performances from the Community Chalkboard. At […]

  • Tune in and donate to WTJU’s Jazz Marathon, Oct 4 – 10

    WTJU Jazz connects you to our community and transcendent music. We need your support to keep WTJU going! WTJU is different. We’re a free public service dedicated to sharing the transcendent experience of jazz & blues – while counting on listeners like you to provide the funding to make it possible. Every note of every song […]

  • Listen to this show with legendary underground artist Lydia Lunch

    The legendary Lydia Lunch joined WTJU host Erin O on September 14 for a special edition of Ye Olde Tuesday Afternoon Rocke Show. Listen up: wtju · Lydia Lunch on WTJU’s “Ye Olde Tuesday Afternoon Rocke Show” You don’t want to miss this interview with punk performance provocateur as you ready for Wednesday’s free show at Champion Brewing […]

  • Christopher Gunning Symphony 5 and String Quartet 1 an interesting pairing

    Tags: , , ,

    Signum Classics continues their survey of Christopher Gunning’s music with a mix. This release features an orchestral and a chamber work. But there is a connection. Both works show Gunning’s growth as a composer. And they show his willingness to challenge himself. Gunning composed his fifth symphony as his sister’s health declined. She was to […]

  • New Jazz & Blues News – 9/14/2021

    New Jazz & Blues News – 9/14/2021 New Jazz Releases: Bill Banfield’s Jazzurban 2 – ..Hey, holla when you hear me.. (Jazz Urbane): “The Jazz Urbane Is A Contemporary Recording/Performing Collective Which Embraces And Is Infused With Great R&B Song Writing, Melodies, Band Grooves And Style. Not Really A “New Movement”, Just A New Configuration […]