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AGP150 - Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) | String Trio, op. 45 (1946)
The Avant Garde Project is celebrating its sesquicentennial with one more installment followed by a months-long rest. Look for more installments in September. AGP150 features two recordings of Schoenberg's String Trio op. 45, which was one of his last works, completed in 1946. It is also one of my favorite works by the master.
The first recording is presented in both 16-bit and 24-bit files and is performed by the Los Angeles String Trio. It was produced and engineered by the estimable David Hancock, who did so much fine work for CRI Records, and released on Desmar Records (DSM 1020G) in 1978. It is a lovely, spacious recording, and the Los Angeles String Trio's performance is both tight and passionate, with delicous sul ponticello work. The folks at Desmar had the good sense to have Teldec press the record, so there's very little noise or tracking distortion. This is the recording through which I originally fell in love with this work.
The second recording is performed by the Trio á Cordes Francais, and was released as part of a 4LP set featuring chamber works by Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, on EMI Electrola (1C181 - 28368/71) circa 1970. This LP was also pressed in Germany and has very little noise or tracking distortion. The recording is clean and clear but with the slightly harder sound characteristic of many late 1960s recordings. The performance has nothing to be ashamed of, but is not quite as rich and passionate as the other.
As in the case of AGP149, I didn't scan the LP cover notes--neither of which provides information you couldn't readily find on the internet. There is unaccountably no wikipedia article on this great work, and I'm afraid I do not know enough to start one.