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Schumann: The 3 Piano Trios / Beaux Arts Trio

Release Date: 10/22/2007 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 432165   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 50 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Once upon a time it was only Schumann's D minor Trio that turned up in the catalogue with any regularity. Now, collectors are faced with no less than four different versions of the complete set—that's to say the three 'official' trios written between 1847-51 plus the four miniatures of 1842 sub-sequently revised and published in 1850 as the Fantasiestucke, Op. 88. In earlier reviews I favoured the riper romanticism and warmer recording of the Borodin Trio on Chandos to what we were given by Germany's Gobel Trio on Thorofon and the Israel Trio on CRD (who, incidentally, offer the bonus of Brahms's C major Trio on the earlier of their two separately issued discs), committed enough in their different ways though both these alternative teams Read more are. The Beaux Arts Trio would seem to have most in common with the Borodin in their very personal approach, as is at once apparent in the yielding phrasing in the opening movement of the D minor work. They are truly spectral in the ghostly episode in its development section, and no less responsive to the mounting ardour of its return to earth, even heralding the big sforzando chord in bar 125 with what sounds like an excited percussive encounter with a music stand (track 1 at about 7'26''). Maybe the Scherzo's dotted rhythm could have been even more incisively defined (especially by the piano). But the Adagio, so intimately withdrawn in the opening duet of violin and piano, is beautifully shaded and shaped, and they are equally persuasive in conveying the finale's message of victory.

Whether the motivation to write that work came from a G minor Trio recently produced by Clara remains a moot point. But the inspiration behind its successor in F could only have been their secret engagement exactly ten years before—as Schumann's quotation of a phrase from one of his 1840 love songs in the opening movement makes very clear. The exhilaration of both flanking movements is warmly conveyed. But I did wonder if response to the Lebhaft upsurges in the slow movement was a little extreme, and equally, if tempo for the winsome Scherzo was a little too slow (just as from the Borodin) to retain its elfin lilt. As for the Third Trio in G minor, I have nothing but praise for these artists' imaginatively fanciful way of concealing its moments of repetitive, even laboured, invention—as is also true of the second and fourth of the Fantasiestucke. The plaintive opening Romanze is as sensitively phrased by the all-important piano as is the Duet (No. 3) by violin and cello—and incidentally, what lovely playing we hear throughout the disc from the group's closely attuned new cellist, Peter Wiley. The recording has Philips's characteristic warmth and reverberance; a slight suspicion of plumminess in the keyboard sound of the first (but not the second) disc is of no great consequence.'

Joan Chissell, Gramophone 8/1993
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Works on This Recording

Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in D minor, Op. 63 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in F major, Op. 80 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Trio for Piano and Strings no 3 in G minor, Op. 110 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Germany 
Phantasiestücke for Piano, Violin and Cello, Op. 88 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 

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