Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Gryphon Trio must be counted as fine a threesome as any before the public today, and this new disc offers a view of Beethoven unlike any other. Special kudos must go right away to pianist Jamie Parker, who leads the ensemble (these early works still belong largely to the pianist) with impeccable taste, a gorgeous tone, a fabulous trill, and boundless reserves of energy. The opening allegros of both works have all of the necessary brilliance and momentum thanks largely to his acute sense of rhythm and accent, which is not to say that his partners aren't very fine musicians as well. Cellist Roman Borys plays with an especially warm tone, and while violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon's slightly husky, nasal timbre might raise an eyebrow or
two (especially in the Adagio cantabile of Trio No. 1), her excellent intonation and stylish phrasing pay ample dividends.
Interpretively speaking, these are light and lively performances, very rapid in the allegros and surprisingly expansive in the slow movements. The C minor trio's variations consequently sprawl a bit, but they're still very well characterized and beautifully played. You will be most impressed by the ensemble's extraordinary rhythmic acuity at high speed. Consider, for example, the cadence theme that closes the exposition of the E-flat trio's first movement: those upward rushing scales have the delicious musical fizz of bubbles rising in a glass of champagne. Or try the Prestissimo finale of the C minor trio, which flies by in what seems like a single breath, but with no streamlining or lack of punch. Add to these qualities ideally sensitive balances between the individual players and state-of-the-art sound, and the result is a first-rate addition to the Beethoven Trio discography, strongly recommended.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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