Notes and Editorial Reviews
Piano Trios: in Bb,
op. 90, “Dumky”
CHAMPS HILL 034 (2 CDs: 140:50)
Dvorák’s four piano trios are replete with some of the composer’s most open-hearted melodies and seemingly spontaneous invention. In the hands of the
best players, the music almost seems to play itself, an impression that masks the tricky Czech-based rhythms and other technical difficulties.
33:2, I wasn’t overly receptive to the Gould Piano Trio’s survey of the Brahms piano trios, but this brand new set of the Dvorák trios, recorded in the near-perfect acoustic venue of the Music Room at Champs Hill, is a brilliant success. Ordinarily, with such collections it’s not unusual for the reviewer to cite a preferred stand-alone performance of one or another of the included works. But in this case, I’m inclined to award the Gould Piano Trio best in class, even in the extremely competitive “Dumky” Trio.
These performances bubble over with high spirits in the Scherzo movements, bring just enough gravity to the weightier first movements without getting bogged down in the composer’s padding through repetition, and make of the slow movements touching songs without words.
This set comes with the highest possible recommendation.
FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
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