Saturday, April 3, 2010

Walter Trampler Plays Hindemith and Reger

Included in this post is most of the music from two LPs Trampler made for RCA Red Seal. I had assumed they would be available on CD and was surprised to discover they are not. Of the two LPs only the 5'43" Stravinksy Elégie on the Solo Viola disc would not fit on an 80 minute CD, so I have saved it for a subsequent post.

There are two sonatas for Viola and Piano of Hindemith (RCA Red Seal LSC-3012) that Trampler recorded with Ronald Turini, an artist with whom I am otherwise unfamiliar. The F major sonata (dated 1922, though written during the war) Op. 11, No. 4 is a delightful, chromatic, post-romantic composition, expansive in its expression, even if not unduly emotional. The Sonata 1939 is more firmly planted in the new century and shares the emotional austerity of so much art in the years between the world wars and subsequently. It is, nonetheless, despite its lack of key signature and free chromaticism, a work that does not wander too far from suggestions of a tonal center, however changeable.

The Hindemith Solo viola Sonata Op 25, No. 1 and the two Reger Suites for solo viola all seem to bow deeply before the solo violin partitas and sonatas and the solo cello suites of J.S. Bach. The Reger compositions are virtually an homage to Bach's suites, which will surprise no one familiar with the later composer's Bach Variations for piano (played stunningly in an easy to get recording by Rudolph Serkin). The Hindemith sonata is, perhaps, not so obviously indebted to Bach, but it is hard to imagine this music without the model of the earlier master. Indeed, the sense of musical continuity one experiences listening to this record is profoundly satisfying.

(A brief, personal aside: My inability to concentrate and to think coherently recently, due to fatigue induced by Spring allergies, has kept me from posting this for several days. So, for the moment, while I do hope I have not embarrassed myself too much by making stupid mistakes, I want to get Trampler's performances of these works up. I think they are superb. )

The text file included in the files linked below included the track listing and other pertinent information. Downloading it is recommended.

4/10 @ 3:57 Mountain Time : Back CD insert posted

Link to all files


  1. Good afternoon Lawrence, and thanks for the Trampler. Great stuff. For those making a CD of this check the cover art at TWS

  2. Thanks for the link to the cover. I do hope to get both covers photographed and posted, along with a back CD insert, today, with any luck. But your link takes some pressure off.

    I have the First and Second Hindemith string trios performed by Jean Pougnet, Frederick Riddle, and Anthony Pini all ready to go up next, but want to get the covers photographed before I post them. Very nice performances by this trio of some lovely string music.

  3. Hi Larry-

    Thanks for these posts. Hearing the Reger suites has inspired me to dust off my old Henle score and practice! Aside from having fabulous taste in turtlenecks, Trampler plays this music rather prettily. I only question his approach to the 4th movement of op.25 No.1. The metronome marking is 600-640 to the quarter note and the score reads: "Rasendes Zeitmass. Wild. Tonschönheit ist Nebensache." For me, Diaz's performance better realizes the composer's instructions. Speaking of Diaz,
    I'm going to keep pounding the table on his new Brahms recording. Here's a link to some sound clips:

  4. Well anything that inspires one to practice is a good thing, I would think. Glad that by and large you enjoyed the performances. I will get to purchasing that Diaz record, honest!

  5. Larry, Ronald Turini, who partners Trampler on one of these LPs, is a very distinguished Canadian pianist. Alas, the glamour of Glenn Gould (a lot of it misdirected so far as my opinion of Gould's "mature" recordings is concerned!) has blinded international audiences to the fine work of many other Canadian keyboard players (pianists, especially, but harpsichordists and organists, too). Sheila Henig, a fabulous talent, was so discouraged at this that she committed suicide! At least here in Canada we appreciate these other Canadian pianists and remember them. Fortunately, Angela Hewitt has broken the spell of "the Curse of Gould" to become internationally celebrated to the kind of degree that the musically wayward and excentric Gould became.

    I was working at the Music Faculty (as a music librarian) at the University of Western Ontario (U.W.O.) when Ronald Turini began teaching there in 1977. He really stirred things up at that stuffy institution! Turini's concerts at U.W.O., including his chamber music with Quartet Canada (a fine and very vibrant ensemble), were musically very satisfying. Turini has lots of temperament and virtuosic skill. He perhaps lacks a bit in the ultimate degree of interpretive profundity, but he really should be better known outside of Canada. He recorded in this country fairly prolifically, so the LPs are there to be digitised, if you can find them in the U.S.

    Pax, Jerry Parker

  6. Jerry; Thanks for the information on Turini. I wondered what he had done subsequently. I certainly have no complaints about his work on the music posted here, and I assumed that Trampler had chosen him for reasons other than his matching turtleneck, youth, and good looks.

    Thanks for your comments, old friend.