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Beethoven: Trios Vol 2 / Kalichstein-laredo-robinson Trio


Release Date: 04/24/2007 
Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7724   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Joseph KalichsteinSharon RobinsonJaime Laredo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BEETHOVEN Piano Trios: No. 1 in E?; No. 2 in G; No. 3 in c; in B?, “Gassenhauer”; in B? Joseph Kalichstein (pn); Jaime Laredo (vn); Sharon Robinson (vc) KOCH 7724 (2 CDs: 118:31)


According to the press release, the Kalichstein/Laredo/Robinson Trio has now signed a major contract with Koch International Classics, which will be releasing some brand new recordings, along with many favorite oldies by this venerable, time-tested trio. This is, I believe, Read more their second traversal of the Beethoven trios, and many will find them preferable to all others. This is not because they are the most exciting (they are not), or the best played (close, but not always), or even the most perceptive (again, close, but not always). But they are very nearly the most right —that often imperceptible quality that is hard to pinpoint, yet leaves the listener with the highest degree of satisfaction. One cannot easily discount the musical influences brought to bear on a series of masterworks by a group of performers who have spent so much time over so many years honing their art and bringing the fullest degree of interpretative excellence to bear on a series of recordings. If nothing else, they deserve a hearing out of sheer respect.


Kalichstein is a venerated player teaching at the Juilliard School, and Jamie Laredo (whose romantic, sensuous playing has often been overlooked during his career) and Sharon Robinson have taken responsibilities at Indiana University in Bloomington. Their long career together has produced some memorable recordings, and this Beethoven (Volume 2 in the Koch series) must be counted as one of them. But these are not Koch recordings, but a reincarnation of the wonderful discs made by the now belly-up Arabesque label from a few years ago. This particular volume was not covered in Fanfare , but Mortimer Frank did report on Volume 1 in 26:5, lamenting the excesses found in the “Archduke,” but otherwise expressing satisfaction with the remainder.


Beethoven’s piano trios essentially take us on a tour of his entire life, but even the remarkably mature op. 1 works show a composer who sometimes seems to emerge full-fledged as a prodigy. This holds especially true for the lithe and sinewy C-Minor, a piece that, for all its inherent appassionata­ -like storminess, is often subject to over-the-edge histrionics by some performers, as if to belabor a point. If I had to judge this album by one performance, it would be for the utter seriousness and soberness that they give to this most-spectacular and abused of pieces. Everything seems just right about it, as if there is something for everyone. I will never give up the over-the-top and fearfully provocative reading by the Istomin/Stern/Rose Trio that introduced me to this work so many years ago, but K/L/R show me another, perhaps better way that gives as much emphasis to the lower strings as to the higher, and whose piano part suffices to create a beautifully balanced blend among all the instruments, while avoiding the need to play as if it were a concerto.


Yes, this could serve as an only set. It won’t for me, as there are things I need from others, but if someone stopped me on the street and insisted that this one was the one, I could not produce reliably substantial arguments to counter the opinion. However, one must look afresh at the Barenboim/Zukerman/du Pré series on EMI (some hate it, I know, and I admit to a deaf ear regarding anything by du Pré, but it contains some of the most exciting playing on disc—Jerry Dubins would seem to concur in 30:1); and one cannot ignore either the Trio Parnassus or the Florestan Trio, which have recently given us some superb playing. But there has never been an integral set of these trios that one can set above all others as the most reliably Beethovenian . K/L/R come the closest.


FANFARE: Steven Ritter
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Works on This Recording

1.
Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 1 no 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Joseph Kalichstein (Piano), Sharon Robinson (Cello), Jaime Laredo (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 31 Minutes 42 Secs. 
2.
Trio for Piano and Strings no 3 in C minor, Op. 1 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Sharon Robinson (Cello), Jaime Laredo (Violin), Joseph Kalichstein (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 27 Minutes 17 Secs. 
3.
Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in E flat major, Op. 1 no 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jaime Laredo (Violin), Sharon Robinson (Cello), Joseph Kalichstein (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 31 Minutes 21 Secs. 
4.
Allegretto for Piano and Strings in B flat major, WoO 39 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Joseph Kalichstein (Piano), Jaime Laredo (Violin), Sharon Robinson (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 6 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5.
Trio for Piano, Clarinet/Violin and Cello no 4 in B flat major, Op. 11 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Sharon Robinson (Cello), Jaime Laredo (Violin), Joseph Kalichstein (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 21 Minutes 32 Secs. 

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