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

16th-19th November

Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!

Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

Another Bacewicz winner

match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Quartet for flute, violin, viola and cello in D major K285 (1775) [11:31]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
String Trio, Op.9 No.3 in C minor (1798) [22:27]
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Piano Quartet No.1, Op.15 (1876-79) [30:51]
Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute)
Monique Mercier (piano)
Trio Pasquier
rec. live radio broadcasts, Paris, November 1956 (Mozart), December 1961 (Beethoven) and November 1962 (Fauré)

Forgotten Records continues to have access to French radio broadcast performances and, to our benefit, to issue them. This disc is one of a number to feature that most eminent of Gallic string trios, the Pasquier, whose recordings stretched back to the days of 78s.

The first broadcast comes from November 1956 and features Jean-Pierre Rampal in Mozart’s K285 Quartet for flute and strings. This was just after Rampal had made a wonderful commercial recording of Roussel’s Trio with Pierre and Etienne Pasquier. Rapport is a given in the Mozart, which is full of avuncular charm, precision of articulation and warmth of string tone. The supportive pizzicati in the central movement are perfectly timed, offering Rampal a cushion for his rich cantilena. There are some surprisingly tired-sounding moments from Jean Pasquier in the finale but the music is vital and energetic and is greeted with avid applause. The recording is of fine quality, though there is some rumble.

The Pasquier are on their own for Beethoven’s Op.9 No.3 trio, which dates from December 1961. There is plenty of expressive playing here, and the con espressione moments of the slow movement are expansively voiced, the vocalised coloratura evoked by Jean being especially noteworthy. Then, too, the deft interchanges in the finale exemplify one of this ensemble’s greatest strengths – deft articulation. Only a few tape thumps intrude on the listening pleasure.

The following year the trio teamed up with Monique Mercier for Fauré’s Piano Quartet No.1. Six years earlier the trio had recorded this in Paris with the venerable matriarch of French pianism, Marguerite Long. Then 80, Long sometimes struggled with passagework rapidity and ensemble was shaky, though no one surely would have preferred to go without her contribution. Mercier is a more self-effacing pianist but she creates a more credible balance and is technically more proficient than Long. I suspect tempo matters were left in the hands of the trio and that Mercier accommodated herself to their dictates, as tempi and tempo relationships are very similar indeed to the Long LP recording. Less doctrinaire and more accommodating this Mercier performance is not inferior to the famous disc. Highlights include a delectably succulent B section in the Scherzo, the beautiful string tone enshrined in the Adagio – with well calibrated dynamics – and the youthful brio of the finale which, once again (and rightly), is greeted by applause.

Forgotten Records generally doesn’t produce notes – and there are none here - so you will be going by the personnel and the repertory, though there are some web links on the back of the jewel case. But for those attuned to Gallic sensibilities in this music, this is a most pleasurable restoration.

Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

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: 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
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger