Labor: Clarinet Trio; Cello Sonata No. 2 / Ensemble TRIS

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To browse more of Josef Labor's chamber music recordings available on the Capriccio label, click here.

A total of around eighty compositions of Joseph Labor have survived. Among them are practically no occasional works, which is connected to the fact that he was blind: for him composition was a luxury, insofar as he had to rely on the help of a scribe who had to commit the work to paper. Labor’s music is very skillfully composed, always sensuous, and first and foremost melodious; it does not require a too complete concentration on itself. In Vienna, Labor was part of Johannes Brahms’s close circle of friends. This is already the third album release with this sensitive Chamber Music of an mostly forgotten composer.


Clarinetist Jorg Wachsenegger, cellist Gerhard Walz, and pianist Holger Busch are active Viennese musicians who sometimes perform and record as Ensemble Tris. In this 2020 production, they turn to Austrian composer and teacher Josef Labor (1842-1924) and two of his autumnal works inspired by unfortunate circumstances.

Busch and Walz handle their parts with professionalism and expertise; and they alone enable the listener to appreciate Labor’s superb compositional skill, marvelous command of German conservative romanticism, and earnest and genuine nostalgia for an ostensibly simpler past. Wachsenegger, though, plays with a thin, hollow, and sometimes distasteful sound that in the Clarinet Trio spoils the texture and makes the reading difficult to digest. Only the Cello Sonata is worth the time.

-- American Record Guide

Product Description:

  • Release Date: March 04, 2022

  • Catalog Number: C5446

  • UPC: 845221054469

  • Label: Capriccio

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Romantic, 20th Century

  • Composer: Joseph Labor

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Ensemble TRIS