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Haydn: Piano Trios, Vol. 1 / Kungsbacka Trio

Haydn / Kungsbacka Piano Trio
Release Date: 08/30/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572040   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kungsbacka Piano Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HAYDN Piano Trios: No. 24 in D; No. 25 in G; No. 26 in f?; No. 31 in e? Kungsbacka Pn Trio NAXOS 8.572040 (52: 35)


This disc offers an intriguing set of paradoxes. But let’s first state that it is quite wonderful. The Adagio cantabile of Trio No. 26 is that of the Adagio of Haydn’s Symphony No. 102—and yet it is not. The notes are very much the same; one easily follows the symphony’s score during the trio, translating the first violin part to the piano and the winds to the violin. But the movement now makes Read more a totally different impression, sweet and calm instead of solid and intense. This is not just the performance, and the Kungsbacka demonstrates elsewhere that it can be appropriately intense. In its complete set, Haydn Trio Eisenstadt (which I admire greatly) hews close to the symphony’s Adagio, and it just doesn’t work.


As I seem to repeat in every issue, there is no single right way to play Haydn, assuming competence and taste. This ensemble produces the impression of period practice, and yet Simon Crawford Phillips’s piano is clearly a modern grand. He achieves delicate, pearl-like tones in Haydn’s rising and falling phrases, but he sometimes pounds cadences in codas. These performances are thoughtful and relaxed (the andantes are especially lovely), with little of the sparkle of the Beaux Arts Trio’s recordings—which are in turn seldom contemplative and can wear one down with their consistent flash. Each complements the other, and many recordings lie in between; yet the Kungsbacka races through the presto “Hungarian Rondo” of No. 25 as fast as any group. If you prefer one complete set, I recommend Haydn Trio Eisenstadt on Phoenix Edition ( Fanfare 32:5). I prefer the variety of multiple ensembles, and these four trios mesh neatly with a disc of Nos. 21–23 by Trio 1790 on cpo (Complete Piano Trios Vol. 4) and Nos. 27–30 by Robert Levin, Vera Beths, and Anner Byslma on Sony. Add to these PentaTone’s two-SACD set of nine early trios by the Beaux Arts: no duplications, and you get both modern and period instruments.


FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

1. Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in G major, H 15 no 25 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kungsbacka Piano Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; London, England 
2. Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in F sharp minor, H 15 no 26 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kungsbacka Piano Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; London, England 
3. Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in E flat minor, H 15 no 31 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kungsbacka Piano Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795 
4. Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in D major, H 15 no 24 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kungsbacka Piano Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; London, England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 good choice September 20, 2013 By mike b. (burnaby, British Columbia) See All My Reviews "I would give the recording a 4 for being a little close but the disc remains quite enjoyable due to very good playing." Report Abuse
 Opening Salvo By Naxos Project Covering Haydn Tri August 5, 2012 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Naxos appears to be developing a series on the piano trios of Franz Joseph Haydn, and a most welcome initiative it is! This Vol.1 includes several of the late trios, all meticulously written and clearly demonstrating Haydn's fabulous gift for melodic invention. The oddly-named Kungbacka Trio (named for a town in Scandinavia) plays this material with passion and dedication. What a pleasure to listen to these trios! If you like light, gentle, 'classical' chamber music, this disk should be right up your alley. Recommended." Report Abuse
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