Notes and Editorial Reviews
This disc commands attention for both sonic and artistic reasons. The splendid surround-sound engineering places you among the Trio Testore’s members, as if you’re hearing with their ears, while absorbing the discreetly resonant ambience from a close-up audience perspective. In Rachmaninov’s youthful one-movement Trio Élégiaque, the opening string tremolos interweave with shimmering delicacy while Hyun-Jung Kim-Schweiker’s soft piano chords manage to be firm and floating at the same time. As the music takes shape, all three musicians interact with supple sensitivity, controlled passion, and levels of delicacy that rival their recorded competitors (the pianissimo string sextuplets starting at measure 92, for example).
The Tchaikovsky Op. 50 Trio’s sprawling first movement emerges in broader and darker estate compared to the relatively fleet and transparent Wanderer Trio recording, as do the beautifully sculpted second-movement variations. Here, however, some listeners may prefer the Argerich/Kremer/Maisky all-star cast’s faster tempos and more individual treatment of solo passages, or the Wanderer Trio’s textural choices. In Variation II, Tchaikovsky intends the cello melody to dominate and marks it forte; the Wanderer Trio recording intensifies the violin’s slurred staccato counter line, while Trio Testore’s reading is more evenly balanced and generalized.
Kim-Schweiker’s solid yet stolid way with Variation III’s dotted chords and rapid runs yields to Argerich’s lithe, winged phrasing. By contrast, the Wanderer Trio treads carefully through Variation V’s gorgeous high-register writing, while Trio Testore is altogether faster, leaner, and without those occasionally self-aware accents that Argerich and company impose. Some may find violinist Franziska Pietsch’s vibrato excessive, yet it’s never cloying. For a Rachmaninov G minor and Tchaikovsky Op. 50 trio coupling, you cannot do better.
-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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