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Hagen, D.A.: Piano Trios Nos. 1-4

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Customer Reviews

Haunting and Heartfelt

Until now there hasn't been a lot of Hagen chamber music available on disc. Naxos and the Finisterra Piano Trio are to be congratulated for beginning to rectify that. These four piano trios by contemporary American concert music and opera composer Daron Hagen span over twenty years and reveal a level of inspiration and artistry long known to opera fans already familiar with "Shining Brow", "Bandanna", and "Vera of Las Vegas" (all recorded).

Behind the Midwestern surface affability of the music there is a steely intellect and an inspired musical imagination at work. These trios are easy to like, but are not necessarily really taken in on first, or even twentieth, hearing: new felicities reveal themselves practically as musical asides. Intriguing.

The four trios are filled with soulful, original, highly lyrical writing for the strings and muscular, idiomatic writing for the keyboard (Hagen is himself a pianist). This is music that is evidently not only challenging but fun to play. Ceertainly, the trios are engaging and fun to listen to.

The third trio is particularly beautiful, and should find a place in the repertoire of any serious touring piano trio looking for a substantial American work. The fourth trio is clearly the work of a mid-career composer at the top of his game. The ideas are judiciously developed and the emotional content is always authentic.

Highly recommended.

Chamber music at its best!

Wonderful, lovely, sensitive performances by Finisterra Trio of Daron Hagen's works. Even if you're not a fan of modern music, you will find this album easy to listen to and enjoy. The "Wayfaring Stranger" Piano Trio No. 3, is particularly haunting. A great deal for chamber music at the highest level.

Hagen, D.A.: Piano Trios Nos. 1-4, Finisterra Piano Trio
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