Trios from Our Homelands

The Lincoln Trio present an intriguing program with this new release. “Trios from our Homelands” presents modern three composers — Rebecca Clarke (UK), Arno Babajanian (Armenia), and Frank Martin (Switzerland). These trios are all top-drawer compositions, with a lot to offer the listener, especially as played by the trio.

The Lincoln Trio is on fire throughout these works. I heard an exuberance throughout the recording as if the trio were genuinely thrilled to be playing this music. Their performances are both near-perfect technically and warmly expressive. It’s a combination that benefits both the music and the listener.

Rebecca Clarke’s 1922 trio has some real challenges for the string players, that violinist Desirée Ruhstrat and cellist David Cunliffe seem to just take in stride. The Lincoln Trio doesn’t let the complexity of the work get in the way of its expressive qualities, making this one of the most convincing performances of Clarke’s chamber music I can remember.

Arno Babajanian was well-known both as a classical and a pop music composer in his native Armenia. His trio is somewhat conservative style — not surprising for a 1952 work written in the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, like Shostakovich and Prokofiev, Babajanian manages to create music of great imagination within the strict confines of Soviet music policy.

Trio sur des mélodies populaires irlandaises by Frank Martin does indeed use Irish folk melodies. But don’t expect an Irish Rovers medley. Martin breaks down the melodies into small elements that serve as building blocks for some very sophisticated constructions. The Irishishness of the music isn’t totally lost, but it’s just a small aspect of this wonderfully complex work

Trios From Our Homelands
Rebecca Clarke; Arno Babajanian; Frank Martin
Lincoln Trio
Cedille CDR 90000 165

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