Rachmaninov & Tchaikovsky – Piano Trios – Trio Testore (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:04:44 minutes | 797 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: audite.de | Front Cover | © Audite Musikproduktion
After the successful release of the Brahms Piano Trios, audite is now presenting a second SACD with the Trio Testore. It sheds light on a special side of Russian chamber music: Tchaikovsky’s and Rachmaninov’s works for piano trio are conceived as dedications and memorials.
Pjotr Tchaikovsky composed his only Piano Trio in memory of Nikolai Rubinstein, his mentor and friend. He paid tribute to Rubinstein’s pianistic brilliance with the work’s demanding piano part, but integrated it also into the communicative context with two equal partners: symbolically, the virtuoso receives resonance, support and stimulation from them. Sergei Rachmaninov took this two-movement work and its fundamentally elegiac character as a model when he composed his First Piano Trio at the age of seventeen. In it, he was already able to mould essential elements of his style, his type of melodic invention and the development of further correlations.
The history of the dedications of the works determines their individual form and their personal, passionate tone. They are thus exemplary for a tradition that continued to make its effect far into the 20th century.
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”
Sergey Vassilievich Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Trio Élégiaque No. 1 in G Minor
01 | I. Lento lugubre – più vivo
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93)
Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50
II. A. Tema con Variazioni
02 | Pezzo elegiaco: Moderato assai – Allegro giusto – Adagio con duolo – Allegro giusto
03 | Tema: Andante con moto
04 | Var. 1
05 | Var. 2 Più mosso
06 | Var. 3 Allegro moderato
07 | Var. 4 L’istesso tempo. (Allegro moderato)
08 | Var. 5 L’istesso tempo
09 | VVar. 6 Tempo di valse
10 | Var. 7 Allegro moderato
11 | Var. 8 Fuga. Allegro moderato
12 | Var. 9 Andante flebile, ma non tanto
13 | Var. 10 Tempo di Mazurka. Con brio
14 | Var. 11 Moderato
II. B. Variazione Finale e Coda
15 | Variazione Finale e Coda: Allegro risoluto e con fuoco – Andante con moto – Lugubre (L’istesso tempo)
Franziska Pietsch, violin
Hans-Christian Schweiker, cello
Hyun-Jung Kim-Schweiker, piano