Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Piano Trio in B flat major Op. 99 D898 [42:33]
Notturno in E flat major for piano trio Op. 148 D897 [9:42]
Trio in B flat major Sonatensatz D28 [11:55]
Piano Trio in E flat major Op. 100 D929 [47:37]
Sonata in A minor for Arpeggione and Piano D821 [26:24]
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio (Joseph Kalichstein (piano), Jaime Laredo (violin), Sharon Robinson (cello))
rec. 28-30 November and 2-3, 17 December 2010, location not specified
BRIDGE 9376A/B [64:15 + 74:07]
Schubert shared with Mozart the ability to write music that manages to encapsulate feelings that you might normally think to be contradictory – grave and gay, happy and sad, wistful and energetic, and so on. His works for Piano Trio that are gathered here are particularly good examples of this. The bouncing, even over-confident, opening to the B flat Trio seems at first to be full of sheer joy, but without letting go of that feeling it manages within a few minutes to have undercurrents which qualify that joy, and define its limits and its nature. It is at once straightforward and infinitely complex – a joy to performers and listeners alike. The E flat Trio is less apparently extrovert but it is another of the composer’s greatest masterpieces. Any recordings based around these two works is always likely to be irresistible, and so this set proves.
The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio have been playing together since 1977. It is immediately apparent here that they have lost none of their enthusiasm for the medium or for making music together. They have acquired real understanding of each others playing and of the music itself. Over and over again we hear subtle changes of balance, tempo and phrasing which illuminate detail without losing track of the longer picture. This is playing which is affectionate without being self-indulgent – the very best approach for this composer. They make all possible repeats. This could lead to boredom with lesser players but here I found myself looking forward to hearing the repeats, especially where they make small but significant changes in their playing.
The Arpeggione Sonata has been played on a wide variety of instruments, from cello to flute and most other possibilities in between, but tends to work best on the cello. So it does here, with splendidly understated eloquence from Sharon Robinson and Joseph Kalichstein. The two shorter Trio movements also deserve their place on these well filled discs. To complete the listener’s enjoyment, the recording is clear and close (but not excessively so) and there is a long and well argued essay on the music by Malcolm MacDonald. All in all this is a set which is likely to give real and lasting musical pleasure to any listener, even if they already have other recordings of these wonderful works.
John Sheppard
Likely to give real and lasting musical pleasure.