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Schubert: Piano Trios - Haydn Trio Eisenstadt

Schubert: Piano Trios - Haydn Trio Eisenstadt

Capriccio  71 102 (2 discs)

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Chamber


Schubert: Piano Trio No. 1, Piano Trio No. 2, Sonatensatz D.28, Adagio in E flat major D.897

Haydn Trio Eisenstadt

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Review by John Broggio - November 28, 2006

This set is one that will grow on listeners that don't immediately respond to the very fine musicianship on offer here.

First, the music on offer:
Disc 1 contains the Second trio (E flat, D929) together with the early sonata movement D28
Disc 2 contains the First trio (B flat, D898) followed by the gorgeous Adagio D897
Why Capriccio didn't swap the order of the discs round is beyond me but there you go - this is one of my only quibbles so one can't really complain! So we are able to play all completed movements of Schubert's glorious music for piano trio. Again, like the companion Mozart: Piano Trios - Haydn Trio Eisenstadt, we jump from a masterpiece to juvenilia providing my other quibble - why not put this first so that we are left with greatness ringing in our ears?

The performances might strike some as underwhelming if not pedestrian upon first listening. I felt this and yet I would strongly urge more repeats of these discs as the approach of this fine trio rapidly grow as previous versions make space for this alternative and very satisfying approach. Whilst these are not quite desert island performances, the music most definitely is and the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt are fully worthy of the challenges contained within the notes.

The style is consistent throughout so there is no particular need to discuss all works in depth. Concentrating on the great E flat trio, it should be noted that the playing tone adopted is noticeably smaller (but not thin) than say, the Beaux Arts Trio. In today's more HIP adjusted climate, this is appropriate although not all listeners may respond positively at first. There is nothing unconventional in the pacing of the first or third (Scherzo) movements; the second movement and the finale may strike some as too slow although, for me, the music never drags due to the delicacy of phrasing in the playing. I have actually come to prefer this more measured approach to the music as it allows the music to sing in a unforced manner that faster tempi can often preclude. Due to this more measured approach, details keep on appearing that reinforce the mood of the whole rather than detract from it as it might in the hands of lesser artists. Also, it should be noted that whilst the playing is eloquent, the HTE never hide from the more sinister side to the music. It is as if hearing heaven tinged with fragments of a nightmare.

Again, the recording is very fine, if not quite in the highest category available to listeners today.

Highly recommended.

Copyright © 2006 John Broggio and HRAudio.net

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