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Ravel, Shostakovich: Piano Trios / Trio Mondrian

Shostakovich / Ravel / Trio Mondrian
Release Date: 10/09/2012 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72535  
Composer:  Maurice RavelDmitri Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mondrian Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Heartfelt Shostakovich plumbing the work’s tragic depths and an expressive Ravel played with precision and polish.

The Trio Mondrian’s approach to the Ravel Trio is fresh and spontaneous. All three soloists clearly love this enchanting, untroubled work begun in 1914 just as the shadows of the Great War closed in. All three soloists are perfectly attuned to each other and blend sensitively to deliver a richly nuanced and shaded reading. Their dreamily romantic first Modéré movement is nicely sculpted. Pantoum, the second movement’s, diverse rhythms - exotic and high-spirited - are conveyed in joyful attack while the third movement, cast in the shape of a Passacaglia, and led by the
Read more piano followed by the cello and violin proceeds in melancholy dignity. The demanding Finale marked Animé, with tinges of c hinoiserie is a brilliant and sweeping creation. How these young artists relish its high-spirited essence. This is a first class interpretation that can compare well with any other presently in the catalogue.
Shostakovich’s Second Piano Trio is a more profound work. Like his 1962 Symphony No. 13 ( Babi Yar) and his 1948 song cycle From Jewish Poetry, this work, shows his sympathy for the Jewish people: their culture and their sufferings particularly at the hands of the Nazis in World War II and under the Soviet regime. The Mondrian Trio, with their Israeli links, clearly empathise strongly and their interpretation is particularly moving. The tragic mood is set right from the beginning with those remote, glassy, high violin chords, answered by the mournful cello and slow marching piano line. Quoting Shostakovich himself, “Jewish folk music seems jolly even when it is at its most tragic…’smiling through tears.’” How well the Mondrian players understand this and how well they convey the biting cynicism of the final movement. Just listen to the edgy burring of the violin’s intonation, for instance.

A heartfelt Shostakovich reading with the Mondrian plumbing the work’s tragic depths and an expressive Ravel played with precision and polish.
-- Ian Lace, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in A minor by Maurice Ravel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mondrian Trio
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in E minor, Op. 67 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 

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