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Romantic Trios for Oboe, Viola and Piano

Robert Kahn, August Klughardt, Charles Martin Loeffler, Robert Schumann

Thomas Gallant, oboe
Steve Larson, viola
Sally Pinkas, piano



“the transcription [of the Schumann] is effective, and the ensemble does a fine job with this meaty work. This reading of the Loeffler is very good... It is artistically satisfying, though, and the improvisatory sections are especially convincing. The Klughardt is perhaps the high point of the program—a big piece with a great deal of character and musical substance. It also shows off violist Steve Larson’s lovely playing to good effect. The Kahn Serenade is beautifully played, shifting between passionate and comtemplative lines with fluency and ease. Despite similar musical influences and periods of composition, the program is interesting and musically balanced, and the pieces complement each other nicely. All the members of this group are excellent players, with flawless technique and intonation and nice subtlety of articulation. They also play extremely well together, and their musical ideas are cohesive and beautiful. The phrasing and musical gestures flow seamlessly and naturally. They make ensemble playing sound easy..”
Pfeil, American Record Guide [March/April 2016]
“Here is a collection of ravishingly beautiful music, performed with ravishing beauty by three players calling themselves Ensemble Schumann... the oboe and viola complement each other beautifully, and in these performances Thomas Gallant and Steve Larson, in partnership with pianist Sally Pinkas, make some of the most blissful sounds this side of nirvana. Truly, this is exquisite music, exquisitely played, and exquisitely recorded, and it’s definitely recommended to all.”
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare [July/August 2015]
[ * * * * * ] “Warm and invigorating performances of little known music that will delight on many levels... Though these works span a 150-year time period, their instrumentation and middle-register sonic qualities make them sound like close cousins indeed. ... The exquisite coloring and characterful rendering of these four small works makes the whole one of the jewels in his late crown... [The Loeffler is] a piece of rich nuances and brashly varied and haunting moods... Ensemble Schumann is perfection in these performances, granting us the opportunity to hear readings of exceptional warmth and fervent passion. Each member comes across as an exemplary virtuoso in his or her own right, and yet they play as if wedded for a half century... The stunning performances and amazingly radiant tonal qualities took me quite by surprise, and easily add to the glisten of these already coal-fired pieces. An outstanding issue!”
Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition [June 2015]
[ * * * * ] “[Tom] Gallant, Steve Larson and Sally Pinkas do perform very well together, and the lyricism, grace and rhythmic drive of Märchenerzählungen come through well... The oboe/viola/piano version [of the Kahn] serves the music well, bringing forth the contrasts within the parts...”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad.com [May 2015]
Joined in a lively and colorful trio, the members of ENSEMBLE SCHUMANN – Thomas Gallant, Steve Larson and Sally Pinkas – present works by their namesake Robert Schumann, as well as by Johannes Brahms, Camille Saint-Saëns, Charles Loeffler, Francis Poulenc, Dmitri Shostakovich, and others. Gallant, Larson and Pinkas have each performed at notable venues, including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Wigmore Hall in London, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the festivals at Tanglewood, Ravinia, Lucerne, Spoleto and Mostly Mozart. Performing since 2005, Ensemble Schumann has been featured at the prestigious Da Camera Series in Los Angeles, at the Clark Art Museum in Massachusetts and on Live From Fraser on WGBH-Radio in Boston.

Award-winning artist Thomas Gallant is one of the world’s few virtuoso solo and chamber music performers on the oboe. Gallant, praised by the New Yorker magazine as “a player who unites technical mastery with intentness, charm and wit,” is a First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild International New York Competition. His performances have taken him to Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York City, to Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Chicago, as well as to the Spoleto Festival in Italy and to the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. He has appeared as guest soloist with the Kronos Quartet at the Ravinia Festival and has collaborated with flutist Jean- Pierre Rampal and with Cuarteto Casals, the Colorado and Lark Quartets, Cuarteto Latinoamericano and with the Adaskin String Trio. Recent and upcoming performances include a concert of solo and chamber music works for the oboe at the Library of Congress and tours across the United States as soloist with Camerata Bariloche from Argentina, performing concerti by J.S. Bach, Bellini and Vaughan Williams. Gallant is the solo oboist of the Wind Soloists of New York.

Violist Steve Larson is an active member of the Adaskin String Trio and Ensemble Schumann, and also performs regularly as a soloist, in duo with his wife, violinist Annie Trépanier, and with acclaimed chamber groups, Avery Ensemble and Cuatro Puntos. Praised for a singing tone and flawless intonation, Larson performs and teaches each summer at the Wintergreen Festival in Virginia and has performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Center Orchestra and as a guest with esteemed ensembles such as the Emerson String Quartet and Miami String Quartet. Also a former member of the Alcan String Quartet, Larson won second prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in 1997 in Great Britain, receiving the award for his performance of the commissioned work. Currently Senior Artist Teacher at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford in Connecticut where he has served both as String Department Chair and Chamber Music Chair, Larson holds degrees from McGill University, the University of Montreal and The Hartt School. He plays an exceptional 17-3/8 inch viola made by Helmuth Keller in 1981.

Following her London debut at Wigmore Hall, Israeli-born pianist Sally Pinkas has been heard as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Russia and Nigeria. Described by Gramophone Magazine as “...an artist who melds lucid textures with subtle expressive detailing, minus hints of bombast or mannerism...”, she has appeared with the Boston Pops, Aspen
Philharmonia, Jupiter Symphony and the Bulgarian Chamber Orchestra. Her summer credits include festivals at Marlboro, Tanglewood, Aspen, Monadnock, Apple Hill and Rockport, as well as Kfar Blum in Israel, Officina Scotese in Italy and Masters de Pontlevoy in France. Pinkas’ extensive solo discography features the piano music of Schumann, Fauré, Debussy, George Rochberg, Christian Wolff, Daniel Pinkham and Harold Shapero. As chamber musician she appears regularly with her husband, pianist Evan Hirsch (The Hirsch-Pinkas Piano Duo), with the Adaskin String Trio, and with the Boston-based Trio Tremonti, of which she is a founding member. Her principal teachers were Russell Sherman, George Sebok, Luise Vosgerchian and Genia Bar-Niv. Pianist-in-residence at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, she is Professor of Music at Dartmouth’s Music Department.
vier Stücke für Klarinette (Violine), Viola und Klavier
I. Lebhaft, nicht zu schnell
II. Lebhaft und sehr markiert
III. Ruhiges Tempo, mit zartem Ausdruck
IV. Lebhaft, sehr markiert

pour Hautbois, Alto et Piano (1901)
I. L’Étang
II. La Cornemuse

Fünf Phantasiestücke für Pianoforte, Oboe (oder Violine) und Bratsche
1 Langsam, träumerisch
2 Leidenschaftlich erregt
3 Zart, in ruhiger Bewegung
4 Feurig
5 Sehr ruhig

ROBERT KAHN (1865-1951)
für Klavier, Oboe (oder Violine oder Klarinette oder Bratsche)
und Horn (oder Bratsche oder Violoncello)

MSR Classics