Notes and Editorial Reviews
Piano Trio No. 4 in f,
Piano Trio on Popular Irish Folk Tunes.
GENUIN 11208 (67:56)
Chamber music in a way is some of the most difficult music to perform successfully, for not only does a group need fantastic soloists who can handle their individual parts—no easy task to begin with—but these
soloists must work together, even breathe together, if the music is to come off effectively. The Leibniz Trio (consisting of violinist Hwa-Won Pyun, cellist Lena Wignjosaputro, and pianist Nicholas Rimmer) seems to be such a group, whose members have not only mastered their individual parts but who together have worked out the details of the music they play to such an extent that were it not for the different timbres of their respective instruments, one could mistake them for a single musician. The pieces on the current program show off their many skills through a variety of styles; interestingly none of the pieces here (other than perhaps the Dvo?ák, whose own “Dumky” Trio is far more oft-performed and recorded than the op. 65 here) offer the listener any of the standard “core” repertoire. Each of the pieces chosen shows off the strengths of the group well, and highlights some music (one of my favorites—the Frank Martin) that should be better known.
The opening of the Martin plunges the listener into a strange, ominous sound world, before lightening into the rhythmic dance-like music reminiscent of the folk music from which the composer got his inspiration. The middle movement is a highlight of this performance, the musicians maintaining an almost distant perspective drawing the listener deeper into their performance by subtle persuasion. The Dvo?ák is an entirely different story. From its opening the listener is plunged into a fiery romantic
tour de force
. The musicians here show off their skills in handling the at times wistful melodies that appear out of nowhere, while never losing (and more importantly never underplaying) the stormy climaxes. In their booklet notes, the members detail their experiences with the F-Minor Trio, choosing it as much for its unusualness as for their personal connection with the piece; it was the very first work the group rehearsed together, and one can tell by their convincing reading. The work that ends the recital, the Joseph Finlay trio, is as different from the other two works as can be. It is a modern work (written the same year as the group performing it here was formed) whose improvisatory nature, elements of jazz, and modernistic tonal aspects seems to be thoroughly enjoyed by the musicians. It is well balanced and provides a fine conclusion to one of the finest chamber recitals in recent memory. My congratulations go to the group for its 2010 award in the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb—an honor I could have personally guaranteed had their playing been the equal in the competition as it is on the current disc. With excellent recorded sound and playing of this caliber, there’s just one more thing to say: Highly recommended!
FANFARE: Scott Noriega
Works on This Recording
Piano Trio by Joseph Finlay
Leibniz Trio (Piano Trio)
Venue: Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany
Length: 12 Minutes 38 Secs.
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