Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Antonin DVORÁK (1841-1904)
Dumky Trio, Op.90 (1891) [29:36]
Trio Op.65 [40:53]
Max Brod Trio - Kerstin Straßburg (piano); Petr Mateják (violin); Maximilian von Pfeil (cello)
rec. Ackerhaus der Abtei Marienmünster, 8-10 September 2010. stereo. DDD
AUDIOMAX 703 1682-2 [70:36]

Experience Classicsonline

The Max Brod Trio bring a welcome sense of clarity and focus to these well-known Dvorák chamber works. The structure of the Dumky is far from clear-cut, but the players make a convincing case for its unity. And there is also a sense of intimacy that pervades the recording, as you would hope to find in all chamber music, but rarely do.

Despite its enduring popularity, the Dumky Trio poses a range of interpretive challenges to performers. Rather than structure the work as a traditional four-movement trio, Dvorák instead gives us a sequence of movements, each in the form of a dumka dance, that is a slow introduction followed by an allegro conclusion. The structure of each individual movement relies on the transition from slow to fast, which Dvorák achieves in a different way in each movement. In each case, he is relying on a sense of surprise, and it is up to the performers to deliver that without relying on undue exaggeration. Nothing comes as a surprise to the players, and there is occasionally a feeling that the meticulous preparation they have put in has damped the spontaneity of these (supposedly) folk dances.

The sheer sophistication of this reading is the one aspect of it that may turn listeners off. Dvorák has taken the Ukrainian dance form - which according to the liner he first learnt of from Janáček - and transformed it for a concert hall setting. The players take that chamber music context for granted and make no effort to recapture the music's folk origins. That isn't necessarily a problem, but to me some of the charm is lost, and without those folk inflections the music risks sounding like second-rate Brahms.

The slow introductions are also more restrained than you will find in most recordings. Where many performers use the following allegro as an excuse for indulgence in each of the preceding adagios, the Max Brod Trio keep a fairly even tempo throughout, with only very controlled rubato and a sense of direction that keeps the music flowing. That allows the overall work to make more structural sense, but sometimes the slow sections seem in need of a little more space.

Curiously, the Max Brod Trio recorded this work only four years previously. That was for a different label (Arcodiva UP 0098 - 2 131) and both the violin and cello parts were taken by different players (see footnote). Perhaps the work makes regular appearances on their concert programmes, or perhaps it just sells well. To me, though, this isn't an ideal performance, it is a convincing foil against the many, many over-indulgent readings on the market, but only works on its own terms thanks to the high technical standards of the playing and recording.

I'm always curious about how MDG achieve their impressive results, given their avoidance of post-production manipulation. The quality of the performers they work with must be part of the answer. But whatever they do to achieve it, the sound is always good. I'm particularly impressed with the balance here, and the way that the cello provides a focused bass sound without ever overpowering. In fact, the cello playing from Maximilian von Pfeil, is a real asset for this ensemble. It is elegant and emotive, but without ever being overstated. Chamber performance at its best.

The Op.65 Trio suits this ensemble's approach better, I think, than the Dumky. It has a more traditional form and a more involved dramatic architecture that works with rather than against their sophisticated interpretive approach. I love the way that they land running at the start of the work, fully engaging the listener from the very first note. And the quiet interludes here really benefit from the players' continuing awareness of the structural logic, a marked contrast to the rushed feeling that it gives to the Dumky adagios. Despite not being as famous, the Op.65 is a more coherent and logical work than the Dumky. It also provides a much better vehicle for the Max Brod Trio's considerable talents.

Gavin Dixon

Thanks for running Gavin Dixon's review of the Max Brod Trio [], but he is mistaken when he writes "...both the violin and cello parts were taken by different players" on their earlier recording of Dumky [].
In fact, it is only the cellist who changed! Petr Mateják is the violinist on both recordings.
Jeff Dimmerman
Raymond Weiss Artist Mgmt. Inc.


















































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.