Long recognized as the leading piano trio in a competitive field, the Beaux Arts Trio is known for precise, straightforward performances and recordings of everything in the standard Central European trio literature.
Foerster's piano trios in the first complete digital recording! New recording. The works of Josef Bohuslav Foerster (1859–1951) have deservedly experienced a renaissance in recent years. Following the acclaimed albums of his two violin concertos (SU 3961-2), cello concerto (SU 3989-2) and complete string quartets (SU 4050-2), SUPRAPHON has now released the first-ever digital recording featuring the complete Foerster piano trios. And as in the case of the string quartets, the three piano trios too represent various creative phases, with the first and third being divided by almost four decades.
"The Trio Parnassus has maintained a reputation as one of the finest piano trios in Germany from the latter-twentieth and early-twenty first centuries despite a fair number of personnel changes. The ensemble has developed a reputation for straddling two rather distinctive worlds in its repertory choices: while it plays standards from the Classical and Romantic periods, as well as many twentieth century and contemporary works, it has also devoted much time to the rediscovery of forgotten compositions by nineteenth century composers like Woldemar Bargiel, Joseph Rheinberger, Philipp Scharwenka, and several others…" ~allmusic
The history of the Russian chamber ensemble of the middle of the 20th century, in all possibility, did not know a more intricate yet remarkable brilliant group of musicians than the celebrated trio of Emil Gilels. Leonid Kogan and Mstislav Rostropovich. All to different in their essence were these three artistic individualities – these three virtuosos, spoilt children of fortune, who were brought together at various stages of disclosure of their outstanding talents. At that, there was not a great difference between their respective ages – Gilels was born in 1916, Kogan was born in 1924 and Rostropovich was born in 1927. Nonetheless, whereas Gilels was already able to reconsider and revise in many ways his principles of work, departing further and further from a pure demonstration of capabilities of his breathtaking technique, Rostropovich and Kogan were still passing through their lengthy period of thrill over their virtuosic powers, affecting their audiences in a straightforward manner.
The quality of the recorded sound is so perfectly clear on this recording, like finely etched crystal, while at the same time it is so robust and resonant, that it is difficult to believe that the piano played on these two marvelous CDs is a replica of a 1785 Walter fortepiano, a smaller and much more fragile instrument than today's modern concert grand pianos.
"…The pianist, Chia Chou, deserves particular praise for his wide dynamic and tonal range: the arpeggiated patterns suggest reserves of tonal weight; elsewhere he articulates individual notes with a delicate, crystalline ping. Clear, warm, and appealing sound reproduction further enhances the proceedings. Enthusiastically recommended, particularly to devotees of the French Romantics." ~musicweb-international
Johann Nepomuk Hummel was a pupil of Mozart. A child prodigy himself, he developed a highly virtuoso technique on the piano, and built an impressive career as one of the most famous and sought after pianists and composers of early 19th century Europe. Even today some of his piano works offer a serious challenge to professional pianists.
There's beauty aplenty in Parnassus' playing… MDG's recording, by placing the piano (which sounds wonderful throughout) slightly back in the acoustic, achieves a believable and wholly satisfying instrumental balance.