Notes and Editorial Reviews
These three star musicians bring brilliance, bravura, and highly persuasive playing to the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio. It's also highly individualized, as you can often sense the distinct personalities of Lang Lang, Vadim Repin, and Mischa Maisky. This is exciting for fans of the artists, but it can distract from the work itself. Maybe this is why this performance has less of a sense of cohesiveness than the Beaux Arts Trio's less "exciting" rendition. Of course, there's excitement aplenty in the Naxos recording featuring Vova Ashkenazy, Christine Jackson, and Richard Stamper, who don't operate under a single ensemble name but play as if of one mind, providing one of the most compelling renditions on disc.
Lang, Repin, and Maisky offer consummate musicianship and requisite emotion, particularly in the first movement (even if they hold back that last ounce of intensity). The players really shine in the variations and finale, music that provides many opportunities for virtuoso display while demanding less heart-felt expression.
Lang Lang, Repin, and Maisky have their minds and hearts perfectly aligned in Rachmaninov's Élégiaque Trio No. 1, conveying Rachmaninov's sadness at the the death of Tchaikovsky without swooning. The Rachmaninov makes an excellent foil for the Tchaikovsky, as it is of similar mood, modality, and even melody (Rachmaninov's four-note theme clearly was modeled after Tchaikovsky's). DG's up-close, bright recording offers considerable detail but is somewhat lacking in perspective. Overall there's much to like on this disc, even if connoisseurs of the Tchaikovsky might want to investigate the listed alternatives.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Featured Sound Samples
Piano Trio (Tchaikovsky): I. Pezzo elegiaco
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