Notes and Editorial Reviews
Considering that Mozart's Divertimento in E-flat is far and away the greatest string trio ever written, and one of the unquestionable monuments of chamber music generally, it doesn't get the attention that it surely deserves from either record labels or collectors. Perhaps the dearth of regularly constituted string trios (as opposed to quartets) has something to do with it, but the fact remains that there is no greater testament to Mozart's genius than this epic, nearly 50-minute-long masterpiece in six movements that contains not a second that fails to rise to the highest level of textural gorgeousness and supreme melodic inspiration. Happily, most performances understand how special the music is,
and give it their best effort.
This one is no exception. The Zimmerman Trio plays with remarkably accurate intonation and a ravishing tone that's also mindful of the Classical style. In other words, they don't lay it on too thick, but they aren't afraid to let the melodic lines sing in the big second-movement Adagio. Rhythms in the two minuets and the finale have a nice, sharp kick, and ensemble balances are just about perfect in terms of equality between parts. Grumiaux's ensemble, by contrast, tends to differentiate more strongly between melody and accompaniment, and this approach may in fact be a touch more historically correct (if anyone cares), but this is a subtle point.
Schubert's single-movement trio makes the perfect coupling. It seems to grow right out of the Mozart until the end of the exposition, when Schubert suddenly sails in with some typically arresting harmony. BIS's sonics, as usual, are really excellent: warm, natural, perfectly clear, but not so close as to capture the usual breathing and other performance noises. This is a magnificent recording.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Trio for Strings no 1 in B flat major, D 471 by Franz Schubert
Antoine Tamestit (Viola),
Frank Peter Zimmermann (Violin),
Christian Poltera (Cello)
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria
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