Joaquin Turina: Chamber Music for Strings and Piano / Lincoln Trio


Much of the music of Joaquín Turina (1882 – 1949) is reasonably well represented on disc, including his songs, pieces for solo piano and for guitar, and some of his orchestral works. In the area of chamber music, however, aside from a few of his most popular pieces, little has been recorded. This excellent release by the Lincoln Trio on Cedille Records of Turina's complete chamber music for strings and piano offers a welcome opportunity to obtain, appreciate and enjoy some little known but very fine chamber music.

Turina began his musical studies in Seville and Madrid before moving to Paris in 1905 where he became a student of Vincent d'Indy and absorbed elements of the French style of composition. He also became familiar with impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel - acquaintances that are certainly not lost on his music. However, it was his friendship in Paris with Manuel de Falla and Isaac Albéniz that had the most lasting effect on Turina's music. These fellow Spaniards convinced the young composer that he should look to the unique melodies, rhythms and colors of Spain for his inspiration.

Disc one of the set contains four works, all of them trios for violin, cello and piano. Opening the disc is his earliest chamber music composition, the Piano Trio in F major of 1904. Concluding disc one is Circulo, Op. 91; premiered in 1942, it is his latest work in the genre. What are perhaps the composer's best-known chamber works lie between - the Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 35 and Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 76. It's interesting to hear the evolution of Turina's art on this one disc of identically scored compositions that span his entire career.

Turina's Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 67 opens the second disc of the set, the first movement of which is the sample from the album that you can listen to in the right sidebar. While it may be less structured in form than many of the other pieces on the 130-plus-minute program, it fairly represents all the music to be heard here. The early Quintet in G minor, Op. 1 that follows opens with a slow and measured fugue; it's a clear illustration of the influence of Baroque and Classical forms and methods in Turina's early works, and indeed, in his entire output. Winding the program to a fitting and pleasing conclusion is the sextet Escena Andaluza of 1912.

I've not encountered the Lincoln Trio prior to this recording. They are a world-class chamber ensemble, providing beautifully polished performances, and must be commended for their foray into this little known but highly rewarding repertoire.

Lincoln Trio - Turina - Audience-Request Night - Ravinia