World-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his longtime collaborator, pianist Emanuel Ax, are joined by violinist Leonidas Kavakos in their first recording together of all three of the piano trios of Johannes Brahms. Ma and Ax have built together a distinguished catalogue of Brahms recordings, but this is their first recording of the Piano Trios and their first collaboration with Kavakos.
Of the three Brahms Piano Trios - Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8; Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87; and Trio No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 101 the Second and Third Trios were written and first performed in quick succession (1882 and 1883), both examples of Brahms at his creative zenith. The same can be said of the First Trio: originally completed when he wasRead more twenty, in 1854, and premiered the following year, Brahms thoroughly rethought and revised it in a new version premiered early in 1890. That more elegant and concentrated version of a youthful work has become the standard for the First Trio, and it is the version performed on the recording by Ma, Ax and Kavakos.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax are collaborators of long standing, and the interplay between the two here is consistently profound, with Ma's warmth setting off Ax's agile skittering. The early op. 8 is played here in its 1890 revision, which Brahms altered in many essential ways while leaving the opening intact, and you may wish to own this double album for this moment alone. The opening movement of the Piano Trio No. 2 in C major, Op. 87, is a masterpiece of crisp, confident playing all around, and really the music here ranges from consistent to exceptional, and never leaves any of the performers in his own world. Highly recommended.
– All Music Guide (J. Mannheim)
These performances get straight to the heart of Brahms’s music, relishing its pull of opposites. The first movement of the B major Trio finds a near-ideal balance between lyrical fervour and reflective equivocation. One can only hope this first recording by this trio will not be the last.
Excellent PerformancesNovember 9, 2017By M. Bishop (Clackamas, OR)See All My Reviews"Yo-Yo Ma, Leonidas Kavakos, and Emanuel Ax do an excellent job of performing Brahms piano trios on this album. Disc one of this two disc set starts out with the three artists performing Brahms piano trio #2 in C. All three of Brahms piano trios are performed on this album, and the entire recital lasts approximately 90 minutes. Ma and Kavakos sustain the lines of music throughout the performance of the first and second movements of piano trio #2; Axs playing of the piano is flawless. The sound quality here is superb; the sound engineers strike a pleasing balance between the piano and the two instruments being played. All said, this is a strikingly good performancehighly recommended."Report Abuse