It is a sad fact that the reputation and fame of many composers, built up over a lifetime, evaporates on their death bed. Si mes vers avaient des ailes, a short song written when the composer was just thirteen, is the work on which Hahn’s posthumous fame had, until relatively recently, relied, and is included here in the composer’s own transcription for cello and piano. Recording catalogues now reveal an ever-growing list of works—concertos, symphonic offerings, songs, piano pieces and chamber music—by this most urbane and charming composer.
Chamber music by Taneyev, Arensky, Shostakovich and Catoire. Chances are the you have heard of the first two composers. But have you ever heard any of their chamber music? And Catoire? Well, this self-taught composer has been a well-hidden treasure whose small out-put is rarely performed.
Russian born violinist Boris Tsoukkerman introduced Catoire's interesting chamber music to some of his Dutch colleagues. As a result several recordings were made to share their enthusiasm about this repertoire with a wider audience. At the time none other that Tchaikovsky admonished Catoire to continue composing. And later on both Arensky and Taneyev advised him on his work. And Rachmaninorr too liked Catoire's music
This six-disc boxed set offers a broad survey of a hundred years of Finnish chamber music, featuring more than sixty performers and twenty composers – between the late Romanticism of Toivo Kuula’s Piano Trio (1908) and the postmodernism of Veli-Matti Puumala’s String Quartet (1994). Highlights include songs by Aare Merikanto sung by Soile Isokoski, Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Rilke song cycle, sung by Marcus Ullman, and Joonas Kokkonen’s third string quartet, performed by the Sibelius Quartet.