Notes and Editorial Reviews
Trio Zingara's most widely heard recording to date has been a version of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, under the baton of ex-Prime Minister Edward Heath (Pickwick (D PCD917, 6/89). The performance has its good points, but those who've heard the Zingara on their own will know that they can be much more impressive in the conventional trio repertoire (RL welcomed their new Ravel/Shostakovich coupling in March). And here's another disc that proves it. This has to be one of the most enjoyable Archdukes to appear in a long time. I'm still not entirely happy with their expansiveness in the initial stages of the Andante cantabile—a little too awe-struck for my taste (Beethoven's marking is semplice). Mieczeslaw Horszowski on Philips comes about as
close to the ideal here as I can remember on record, though that performance is by no means as consistently convincing. The Zingara soon generate the requisite flow and the movement gains steadily in depth. The final poco phi adagio reveals itself as the heart of the movement: it isn't just poise or beauty of tone; there's a true Beethovenian innigkeit here. After this serene stillness the long coda probes tellingly, every change of dynamic or texture a breathtaking surprise.
I can't summon up a single reservation about the rest of the performance. The first movement combines delicacy, expressive power and a strong sense of forward movement. Nothing is overstated—the weight they give to sforzandos always seems to me just right—and there's a feeling of being carried forward on a strong, benign current. The Perlman/Harrell/Ashkenazy characterization on EMI sounds more than a little studied after this. The Scherzo too balances character and mobility, and the Trio grows from it very naturally, as indeed does the finale from the rapt closing pages of the Andante cantabile—no sense of let-down in this performance.
-- Gramophone [5/1990]
reviewing the original release of the Archduke Trio, Collin 1057
Works on This Recording
Trio for Piano and Strings no 5 in D major, Op. 70 no 1 "Ghost" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Written: 1808; Vienna, Austria
Trio for Piano and Strings no 7 in B flat major, Op. 97 "Archduke" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Written: 1810-1811; Vienna, Austria
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