**** - Excellent album
Jacques Bonnnaure - Classica magazine - April 2013
"Lekeu’s music is a post-Wagnerian ferment of shifting passions. These chamber works feel slightly unfocused, yet hint he could have had a strong voice had he lived beyond 24. Engaged performances ***"
Jessica Duchen - BBC Music magazine (Brief Notes section) - December 2012
"This chamber music outing is a pleasure, but no summer picnic as Toronto Symphony Orchestra principal viola joins Montreal’s Trio Hochelaga to explore two works by nearly forgotten Belgian pianist Guillaume Lekeu, who died at age 24 of typhoid fever, in 1894. These capable musicians make a convincing case for this young composer’s forays into late-Romantic complexity. Both pieces, a four-movement Piano Trio from when he was 20 and two movements from an unfinished Piano Quartet, are the late-Victorian era’s equivalent of emo, vibrating with agony and angst. Even the slow movements provide little respite from the musical clenched fists and furrowed brows. Fortunately, the pain comes in the form of beautifully thought-out structures, of deftly sketched musical ideas passed freely between each instrument. Li, violinist Anne Robert, cellist Paul Marleyn and pianist Stéphane Lemelin deliver broad-shouldered, red-blooded performances that crackle with energy and life, making for mighty fine rainy-day listening."
John Terauds - Musical Toronto - 17 July 2012
"The excellent Montreal ensemble Trio Hochelaga makes a mission of rediscovering music that has slipped through the cracks, and these two pieces by Belgian-born composer Guillaume Lekeu are wonderful finds. Lekeu had little opportunity to live up to the extraordinary promise of his 1890 Piano Trio in C minor: He was dead, of typhoid fever, a few years later at the age of 24. In Paris, Lekeu had studied with both César Franck and Vincent d’Indy, and their influence is clearly audible in the dense textures, chromatic harmonies and concentrated emotional energy of his music (and, less happily, in an overdependence on fugues and recurring themes in the trio). But these pieces are neither copies nor curiosities. From the trio’s arresting introduction to the quartet’s long, lyrical finale, this is music well worth programming." ***½
Elissa Poole - The Globe and Mail - 27 July 2012
"...This is a glimpse of the pure Lekeu with scant reference to Beethoven, Franck, Wagner or anyone else being made. Trio Hochelaga has made some excellent recordings of lesser-known French repertoire (Dubois, Ropartz and Pierne) and their advocacy of Lekeu deserves the highest praise. The ensemble’s technical skills are evident in every phrase, but they also play with a unified heart and soul. The usual superb engineering by Atma Classique chief Johanne Goyette makes this a flat-out dazzler. I didn’t know Lekeu’s music before I heard this recording, now I want to dig deeper."
Craig Zeichner - Ariama.com - 23 July 2012
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