One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano"
IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra

Sinfonie Concertanti for two flutes and orchestra

TUDOR RECORDS

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

NORTHERN FLOWERS

World Premiere
Weinberg’s Concertino (cello)!

AVIE

Irish-Appalachian Celebration

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review



an inspirational performance


An indispensable acquisition


The finest we have had in years


bewitching sound


Simply amazing


A splendid addition


One of the most enjoyable


quite superb!


utterly essential


A wonderful introduction


An outstanding CD


cheer-raising


One of the finest versions

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for Ł12 postage paid world-wide.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
String Quartet No. 1, The Kreutzer Sonata (1923) (arr. piano trio by Miloš Štědroň) [18:02]
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1843-1904)
Eight Slavonic Dances Op. 46 No.2 in E minor (1878) [5:02]
Piano Trio No.2 in G minor, Op.26 (1876) [28:01]
Ondřej KUKAL (b.1964)
Piano Trio Boj s pádem (2014) [16:58]
Petrof Piano Trio
rec. July 2015, Hradec Králové and February 2014, Martinů Hall, Academy of Arts, Prague (Dvořák Trio)
ARCO DIVA UP0181-2 131 [69:07]

There are two novelties here - the world premiere recording of Ondrej Kukal’s Piano Trio and Janáček’s Piano Trio Kreutzer Sonata. Yes, you read that correctly – Piano Trio, not String Quartet. The Trio is known to have been composed and first performed in 1909 in Brno but it was then lost. The arrangement has been accomplished by Miloš Štědroň.

The notes – in Czech, Spanish, Japanese and shaky English - honestly admit that the legitimacy of Štědroň’s work is up to the interested listener to assess. My own assessment is that since there is surely little documentary evidence as to what that original trio sounded like - and that therefore this is not putative reconstruction so much as an arrangement for piano trio of the existing quartet – the work must stand or fall on its viability in the new medium. Inevitably the loss of two-fiddle sonority devitalises certain passionate elemental qualities inherent – I very much miss the febrile Moravian tonal density they bring to this work, and the companion quartet – whilst the piano brings other qualities. There are gains in thematic clarification, possibly – the weight of the ensemble is lightened – but the razory intensities of the quartet version are diminished, indeed made occasionally vapid, in this arrangement. The percussive nature of the piano tends to graft a different aural perspective onto music to which one has become wholly accustomed.

One can test Kukal’s compositional mettle in his 2014 Piano Trio Boj s pádem (which would translate as 'Fight with the Fall', or 'Fight with Fall') which was premiered by the Petrof Piano Trio in July 2015. It’s a single-movement piece lasting 17 minutes and is packed with interest. Though stern, indeed angular, it’s also full of loquacious vibrancy, and introduces some quite vivid folkloric elements too. The terpsichorean element – very Czech – as well as lyric stretches shares space with some poignant, indeed introspective paragraphs. Adagio sections recur. There’s a beautiful hymnal passage before Kukal injects some animated and urgent writing toward the spirited finale. This is a worthwhile addition to the catalogue of tonal, exciting and traditionally-based piano trio repertoire of Kukal's country.

There are two pieces by Dvořák. The Slavonic Dance in E minor is delightfully done and then there is the ‘bonus’ - a substantial one but without which the disc would have been of ridiculously short timing – of the Piano Trio in G minor, Op.26. This is a live recording, made in Martinů Hall in Prague in a much more billowing acoustic than the rest of the programme. which was made in the Petrof studio in Hradec Králové. The Petrof trio is especially penetrating in revealing the deep vein of melancholy encoded in this work. No matter how thematically confident, the eternal note of sadness keeps drawing in over the shingle. Even in the Scherzo there’s moment of tristesse before the trio. Only the Polka-inspired finale largely escapes.

This finely played bonus reflects well on this excellent ensemble. Whether this is a plausible programme I am not sure. I hope the Kukal Trio doesn’t put off potential listeners – it’s a delight – and the Janáček can give food for speculative thought, whatever my strictures.

Jonathan Woolf


 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger