Notes and Editorial Reviews
Mozart may not have lavished his piano trios with the same inventiveness, formal daring, and emotional tension that marks his other late-period works. Still, when you play them straight and simply, without reading death's door between the notes, their innate eloquence and subtle harmonic flavors sharpen immensely. As with the Gryphon Trio's splendid cycle on Analekta, the Florestan Trio's accounts of the Third, Fourth, and Sixth trios set reference standards for stylish perception, textural transparency, and the kind of sophisticated articulation and motivic interplay that may be preplanned, yet never seems intellectualized. Echoed phrases, for example, are always taken softer than when first
played, but not exaggeratedly so. While a period-instrument aesthetic largely determines the ensemble's timbral and dynamic choices (the strings' long pedal points gain intensity through volume rather than vibrato), their use of modern instruments allows a rarified degree of control and flexibility.
For instance, in K. 502's slow movement, when violinist Anthony Marwood picks up the main theme that pianist Susan Tomes states alone, his full yet vibratoless tone casts an emotional ambiguity that differs from Tomes' subtle inflections. Yet once cellist Richard Lester's supportive lines kick in, so does Marwood's vibrato. I'm also taken with Lester's ability to blend in with Tomes' bass lines like an invisible twin and then suddenly emerge to match Marwood's twists and turns with astonishing unanimity. Looking for some of the most evenly matched trills in the annals of recorded Mozart? Then this is your disc. And it should be your disc, since if you've read this far, I'll assume that you've been inspired to order it! Hyperion's clear, full-bodied, and impeccably-balanced engineering deserves its own rave review. [9/21/2006]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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