Is there a better trio than the Florestan playing today? All three members are consummate artists, outstanding instrumentalists, and ensemble players to the manner born, but it’s the playing of pianist Susan Tomes that carries these performances to their greatest heights. Since the ensemble is perfectly judged by all concerned, it may seem unjust to single out the playing of one member for special comment, but such is the extreme sophistication, the extraordinary subtlety and the expressive range of this artist that I can see no alternative. The tonal control, the exquisite shaping of phrases, the rhythmical suppleness and structural backbone are of an order seldom encountered in the playing even of many famous soloists. But what renders her playing here still more remarkable is the exemplary precision with which it’s matched to the different sonorities and qualities of attack, so-called, of the string players. And what players they are. For all of the above this is not a pianist-dominated performance, except insofar as Schubert wrote the piece that way.
…Tanski’s talent makes the Variations de Concert an enjoyable closer. In this, the aria “Io son ricco e tu sei bella” from Donizetti’s Elisire d’Amore is given the usual 19th century virtuoso treatment by Henselt, but Tanski never gives in to flash. He evokes a broad range of emotions, always managing to keep things from becoming kitsch. By himself, Tanski is worthy of a warm recommendation…
This brilliant audiophile download brings together the exquisite trio of Itzhak Perlman, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Lynn Harrell. The trio displays effortless virtuosity and lyricism, delivering a flawless rendition of a true masterpiece. The album would win the GRAMMY® for Best Chamber Music Performance. This album is absolutely essential.
Following their recording of his Symphonic Works, cpo now turn to Sallinen’s Chamber Music. The composer’s love of the cello pervades these works which are performed by Arto Noras and Ralf Gothóni, the same artists who premiered the piece in 2005.
In the autumn of 1851 Schumann composed, in rapid succession, the two violin sonatas and, in the space of just seven days from 2 to 9 October, the Piano Trio no.3, Op.110. As always during his work, Schumann was oblivious to everything around him, neglected social obligations, and isolated himself – even from Clara. ‘Robert is working very assiduously on a trio for piano, violin, and cello,’ she confided to her diary, ‘but he won’t let me hear anything of it until he has quite finished it – all I know is that it’s in G minor.’
Arensky’s Piano Trios represent a fine example of the Russian romantic piano trio, a form ‘invented’ by Tchaikovsky, Arensky’s close friend and influence. Piano Trio No 1 is the more popular of the two, dedicated to the cellist Karl Davidoff. Davidoff is regarded as the founder of the Russian school of cello-playing, and Arensky’s dedication accounts for the fact that the cello plays such a prominent role, having most of the principal themes and often seeming to eclipse the violin in importance. Piano Trio No 2 is one composer’s last works, and marks a considerable advance in Arensky’s compositional techniques.