One of the most grown-up review sites around

50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, op. 49 (1839) [28:20]
Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, op. 66 (1846) [30:12]
Jonathan Gilad (piano), Julia Fischer (violin), Daniel Müller-Schott (cello)
rec. February 2006, Deutschlandfunk Sendesaal, Cologne
Originally released as PTC5186085
Revoewed in stereo
PENTATONE PTC5186609 SACD [59:04]

As you can see from the details, this is a reissue; the original release was reviewed by Michael Cookson back in 2006. Why PentaTone should choose to do so is not clear; it was a SACD back then, and there is no suggestion that it has been re-mastered. Indeed, the original release is still available for purchase.

Enough of market analysis, the performances are the important thing if you didn’t “dash and out purchase” this in 2006, as Michael recommended. PentaTone was fortunate to have budding stars Fischer and Müller-Schott on their books at that time. Each has gone onto major careers as soloists, Fischer now with Decca. Great soloists do not always make good chamber musicians, but each of these players has a number of chamber recordings under their belt, particularly Müller-Schott, who has a further connection with Mendelssohn and Gilad, with the cello sonatas released some years ago on Orfeo.

There is no doubt that the three players gel together well, and their individual playing is beyond reproach. Nevertheless, I can’t be as positive about this recording as my colleague, who concluded that “the performances surpass the best of the available versions”. At that time, those available versions included the Florestan Trio’s wonderful Hyperion disc. Even in 2006, had I heard this, I would have placed it below the Florestans, and by some way. Now there is the quite exceptional Sitkovetsky Trio (BIS – review) to reckon with as well. Where do I feel that Fischer et al. fall short? They take a quite spacious and Romantic approach, compared to the more the vivacious and energetic way of the Sitkovetskys and Florestans. While timings are not a guaranteed way of comparing performances, I think the extra minutes taken by this trio in both works tell a story. It obviously depends on how you perceive these works, but, for me, the latter is better.

The somewhat recessed recording acoustic adds to the warmth and richness of the playing. To PentaTone’s credit, they have updated the booklet, at least in terms of the performer’s biographies, and I read with interest that Julia Fischer plays in a string quartet with Alexander Sitkovetsky, of the aforementioned trio.

You wouldn’t be disappointed if you purchased this, especially if you like “big” Mendelssohn, but I feel you can do better in these works.

David Barker

Previous review (original release): Michael Cookson



We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

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