Sextet Op. 6 Piano Quintet Op
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One of the leading members of the Munich School, most famously represented by Richard Strauss, Ludwig Thuille was a prolific composer whose Sextet today remains the best known of his many chamber works. Influenced by Rheinberger, Liszt and Wagner, T
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An analysis of the genuine achievements of this fine composer may be due. I am not the one, and this is not the forum, for that analysis. But I would at least suggest that his works deserve to be better known, and this will require listeners and critics more open-minded and open-hearted than Mr. North. The enterprise of musicians and record companies is lately demonstrating the worthiness of much second-rate music, esteemed in its time but since buried under the whims of cultural and academic fashion, to which the world of the fine arts is more subject than its arbiters and acolytes would care to admit. The commonly asserted view, glibly parroted by Mr. North, that "history" decides what artistic products deserve the attention of posterity, is simplistic and only partly correct. There are in fact many reasons for the renown or obscurity of a work of art, both in its own day and thereafter. I can attest that to undertake the project of recovering the forgotten beauties of our musical past is to be astounded by its extent and richness, as well as saddened that the often arbitrary judgments of "history" have deprived us of so much beauty and delight.
For anyone interested in exploring the neglected byways of late German romantic music, I would enthusiastically suggest the music of the distinguished Professor Ludwig Thuille as a good place to start.
The Piano Quintet, played here by Luisi and the Gigli Quartet (named, oddly enough, for Golden Age tenor Beniamino Gigli), is a more mature work, Thuille's Op. 20, with somewhat more chromatic harmonies and more complex construction. The work's counterpoint and harmonic complexity are particularly skillful. It is actually Thuille's second piano quintet; the first is a student work which has been recorded along with the second quintet by Oliver Triendl and the Vogler Quartet Ludwig Thuille: Piano Quintets. I slightly prefer Triendl's and the Vogler's recording which seems more natural and spontaneous, hence my four-star rating. But I am pleased that these two works, Thuille's best chamber works, are for the first time together on one budget-priced CD in fine performances.