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 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
Already established within Viennese culture by Haydn and Mozart, the trio genre was taken to new limits by the inexhaustible imagination of Beethoven's genius: "a serene joy come from an unknown world", was E. T. A. Hoffmann's reaction on hearing the Trio in D major Op.70 no.1. The Wanderers have ventured into the Beethoven piano trios and mastered every inch of its topography. What better guide could there be for us to follow with total confidence, in their 25th anniversary year?
A limited-edition super-budget set. 2009 is 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death. Decca’s pioneering complete cycle of Haydn symphonies on modern instruments. Recorded between 1969 and 1972, this was the first complete cycle of Haydn’s symphonies. Hungarian-born Antal Dorati was a Haydn pioneer and specialist who also recorded Haydn operas for Philips during the same period. Decca catalogue of Haydn is without parallel and contains complete cycles of the Piano Sonatas and String Quartets (as well as Piano Trios on Philips). Many of these are award-winning recordings.
This set is, indeed, complete, including as it does the six standard trios as well as the op. 11 work that Beethoven originally wrote for a clarinet, but later arranged for violin. The performances were, to judge from viewing, given exclusively for video, no audience evidently being present. The third of the op. 1 set and op.11 are in black and white; everything else is color. Throughout, the picture quality is excellent. The mono sound, however, is disappointing for the vintage: somewhat brittle in the piano and shrill in the violin. Much of this can be corrected with good tone controls, however. Prior to filming these performances, this triumvirate recorded studio versions of these works that were widely admired. Nearly all of what is offered here is in the same class: well-organized, vibrant readings attuned to the wit, drama, and lyricism of these remarkable scores. Everything in op. 1 works well, as does the violin version of op. 11. The two trios in op. 70 are, of course, studies in contrast—No. 1 comprising some of the most explosive chamber music that Beethoven ever composed, No. 2 more lyrical and experimental, its eerie opening being a case in point. Both works are impressively played, No.1 (“Ghost”) projected with thrilling energy and spooky delicacy.