Klaviertrio Hannover restores Emilie Mayer trios

In my opinion, Emilie Mayer is but one of the missing links in classical music. She’s one of several female composers who achieved recognition for their talent. Their music was highly-regarded, regularly performed, and published. And yet, after their deaths, their music and fame immediately vanished. 

Louise Farrenc, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Alice Mary Smith are three examples. And Emilie Mayer is a fourth. This release presents three world premiere recordings — three piano trios by Mayer.  

Emilie Mayer was a well-known figure in mid-19th Century Europe. She was the Associate Director of the Opera Academy in Berlin. She toured Europe, attending performances of her symphonies and orchestral works. 

Her music was published. And yet it remained for 21st Century musicians — such as the Klaviertrio Hannover — to bring her music back to life.

Mayer was a pianist by training. These trios show her skill at keyboard writing. They also show her ability to compose for small ensembles. Mayer has her own compositional voice. But if I had to describe it, I’d say it was one inspired by Beethoven and drawing on the same influences as Brahms. 

Mayer’s thematic developments are masterful (like Beethoven’s). Her harmonic language is similar to Brahms, though not exactly the same. 

The Klaviertrio Hannover deliver some exciting performances — as they should. Mayer’s music, properly played, has an insistent forward momentum. The trio energizes that momentum, keeping the music flowing to its logical conclusions.

These trios were never published. They were only recently discovered by the trio’s pianist, Katharina Selheim. The Klaviertrio Hannover performs her carefully researched and edited versions of these works. 

Any recording that adds to Emilie Mayer’s catalog is a welcome addition. But one as well-researched and well-performed as this one deserves special notice. Thanks to Klaviertrio Hannover for forging another link in the chain of Emilie Mayer’s legacy.  

Missing Link: Emilie Mayer
Piano Trios
Klaviertrio Hannover
Genuin Classics

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