4 And More Music

Tailleferre & Fontyn & Ravel

Tailleferre / Fontyn / Ravel


Morgenstern Trio

4260085533152 | Avi 8553315 | 1CD
Named after the German poet Christian Morgenstern, the Franco-German “Morgenstern Trio” has
selected a “triad” of Franco-Belgian composers for their new CD, centered around Ravel’s Piano Trio in
A Minor (1914).
Violinist, pianist and teacher Kolja Lessing, a friend of the trio, drew their attention to
the two relatively unknown works by Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983) and Jacqueline Fontyn (born in
1930). For the three trio members, the main point of interest lay not so much in certain traits of style
or character these three Franco-Belgian works might eventually share, nor in the fact that two of the
composers are women.
Instead, their goal was to explore aspects of historical context and mutual
influence among composers. “Ravel wrote his trio in 1914, and Tailleferre the first version of her trio
two years later.
We thought it would be particularly worthwhile to find out how two French-speaking
composers, both known to be admirers of Ravel, wrote in this genre. Did they willingly succumb to his
musical influence, or did they distance themselves from their model? We were especially thrilled to
have the opportunity to visit Madame Fontyn in her home in Brussels, and to talk with her about her
The Morgenstern Trio gave a smashing debut Thursday evening at the Kennedy Centre’s Terrace Theatre.
In works by Ravel, Bernstein and Brahms, the group displayed an unanimity, polished technique and
musical imagination that I thought had vanished from the scene with the demise of the Beaux Arts Trio.
Washington Post May 2012