SCHUBERT Piano Trio No. 1 in B?. Introduction and Variations in e, “Trockne Blumen”1 • Lars Vogt (pn); Antje Weithaas (vn); Tanja Tetzlaff (vc); Chiara Tonelli (fl);1 Silke Avenhaus (pn)1 • CAVI-MUSIC 8553099 (61:03) Live: Heimbach
I have long admired the pianism of Lars Vogt, whose solo, concerto, andRead more chamber music recordings on EMI are as numerous as they are fine. In addition to his activity as a performer, he is the artistic director of the Spannungen Festival in the Westphalian town of Heimbach. This disc, like half a dozen earlier ones, was recorded live at the festival. The trio receives a stunning performance that holds the listener in the palms of its performers’ collective hands from first note to last. The ensemble is impeccable and the playing is as buoyant, dramatic, and achingly beautiful as any account I know—and I grew up with the great one by Myra Hess, Jelly D’Arányi, and Felix Salmond. The increase and release of musical tension is achieved in a completely natural-sounding way, whether within a phrase, a section, or an entire movement. An equal partnership allows these players to weave in and out of the picture as inevitably as though they were co-creators with the composer. The tempos always seem ideally suited to the music, with an ebb and flow and a real sense of urgency that moves to the ends of phrases and never gets bogged down with point-making. The performance is immediate and makes one nod in full agreement with Schumann’s wonderful assessment of this work: “Just one look at Schubert’s trio and all of mankind’s wretched doings are at once forgotten, and the world shines anew.”
The set of variations on a song from Die schöne Müllerin is a lesser work, but it, too, is given a refined and exciting performance. The recorded sound is excellent throughout. I recommended this disc very highly.