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VAGN HOLMBOE (1909-1996)
Piano Trio op. 64 (1954)
Piano Trio op. 129 Nuigen (1976)

PER NØRGÅRD (b. 1932)
Spell (1973)

CARL NIELSEN (1865-1931)
Piano Trio No. 1 (1883)

Doruntine (1994)

Trio Ondine
Da Capo CD 8.226009 [66 mins]

Trio Ondine's debut CD Passage is a satisfying recital which allows us to hear this young group, now regular visitors to London's Wigmore Hall, interpret five Danish piano trios from Carl Nielsen through to Anders Nordentoft, each composer with direct links one to another, from Nielsen and Holmboe, to Per Nørgård and Nordentoft.

Nielsen's early trio is not yet really characteristic of the composer to be, a vigorous classically-modelled piece with clear simple themes; well worth an occasional airing. The prolific Holmboe is well represented, with two works composed some 20 years apart. The three movements of Op 64 are well contrasted, the first dramatic, the second transparent with long melodies, the finale with the material metamorphosed to a neoclassic, folkloristic feel. The later example has material all related to an introductory theme, varied over a long span; five movements, the main ones separated by slow, inward intermezzi.

Nørgård's Spell is based on his fruitful 'infinity series' with patterns and near-repetitions that continually and subtly change; not quite minimalism. Nordentoft is an original, his single movement trio developing freely to an 'internal, poetic logic'. Recommended to chamber music collectors for five piano trios you're unlikely to know.

© Peter Grahame Woolf