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Debussy, Faure, Ravel: Piano Trios / Florestan Trio

Release Date: 10/12/2010 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 30029   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude DebussyMaurice RavelGabriel Fauré
Performer:  Susan TomesRichard LesterAnthony Marwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florestan Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Most us might think of Gabriel Fauré as a 19th century composer, but he lived through the first quarter of the 20th century. He remained a Romantic, however; and though his piano trio was written nine years after that of Maurice Ravel, it is the one that sounds the older of the two. Dark, with rich sonorities and a beautiful lyric second movement, Fauré's piece falls easily on the ears. Ravel's voluptuous composition does too, but is definitely more forward thinking in its use of harmony and rhythms. The Debussy is a student work that strikes me as an unusually competent piece of salon music, full of charm, but never profound or even hinting at any sort of greatness to come. The Florestan Trio plays each work in the proper Read more style and with singular unanimity and uncanny balance. This musical threesome really thinks as one. Once a few intonation burrs are smoothed out, it will be a trio to rival the Beaux Arts, or better, carry on its tradition.

--Rad Bennett, ClassicsToday.com [reviewing the original release]

The Florestans, exhibiting their trademark finesse, taste and sensitivity, fully demonstrate why they are one of the most highly prized of new ensembles' (The Scotsman)

'Fresh from their triumph at the Gramophone Awards with Schumann, the Florestans turn their attention to the French trio repertoire and, in particular, to a composer with whom pianist Susan Tomes and cellist Richard Lester have an especial affinity: Gabriel Fauré. Of the three works presented here, the Fauré is the latest (1923), but stylistically the D Minor Trio is as conservative as the G Minor Trio of the 18-year-old Debussy, although Fauré's late essay in the form is unquestionably the greater work. The Florestans play both with a rhythmic urgency in the fast movements and rapt concentration in the Andantinos that take the breath away. They are even finer in Ravel's masterpiece, playing with a technical bravura and sheer panache to match the greatest interpreters of this work on disc. Another absolute winner' (The Sunday Times)

'It's a lovely recital; I've never been so convinced that the Debussy's worth hearing, and the Ravel is full of delicate delights.' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A delightful grouping of French trios from the Gramophone Award-winning Florestan's, who breathe fresh life into these works ... top of my list.' (Gramophone)

'Such flair proves the Florestan Trio, if proof is needed, to be among the finest chamber ensembles of the present day. Outstandingly imaginative performances, finely recorded' (Classic CD)


'One of the best SACD discs to date. On the CD layer the recording sounds vibrant, fluid and hugely enjoyable. Switch to SACD, though, [and you’ll find] the instruments are more clearly delineated and simply sound more real, while the sense of air and space in the acoustic is thrilling … You feel enveloped as if you were there'' (Gramophone)

'Beautifully wrought performances. Rendered with natural empathy and graceful ensemble-playing, the Florestan’s playing is quite glorious' (Fanfare, USA)

'From impressive to breathtaking' (What Hi-Fi?)

'Excellent' (Hi-Fi News and Record Review)
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Works on This Recording

Trio for Piano and Strings in G major by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Susan Tomes (Piano), Richard Lester (Cello), Anthony Marwood (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florestan Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1879-1880; France 
Date of Recording: 03/1999 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 19 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in A minor by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Susan Tomes (Piano), Anthony Marwood (Violin), Richard Lester (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florestan Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
Date of Recording: 03/1999 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 25 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Trio for Piano and Strings in D minor, Op. 120 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Susan Tomes (Piano), Anthony Marwood (Violin), Richard Lester (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florestan Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 03/1999 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 19 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Piano Trio in D minor (Fauré): II. Andantino
Piano Trio in A minor (Ravel): IV. Final. Animé

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