Title - 'Schumann: Complete Piano Trios'
Artist - Horszowski Trio
Hailed by The New York Times as “impressive, lithe, persuasive,” when the members of the Horszowski Trio – Jesse Mills, Raman Ramakrishnan, and Rieko Aizawa – played together for the first time, they immediately felt the spark of a unique connection.
Many years of close friendship had created a deep trust between the players, which in turn led to exhilarating expressive freedom.
Two-time Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Mills first performed with Raman Ramakrishnan, founding cellist of the prize-winning Daedalus Quartet, at the Kinhaven Music School over twenty years ago, when they were children.
In New York City, they met pianist Rieko Aizawa, who, upon being discovered by the late violinist and conductor Alexander Schneider, had made her U.S. debuts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Their musical bonds were strengthened at various schools and festivals around the world, including the Juilliard School and the Marlboro Festival.
The Horszowiski Trio debuts on Avie with the Complete Piano Trios by Robert Schumann, music that the ensemble is as passionate about as the composers Romantic works exude.
Schumann's works for piano trio were written within a decade of each other yet represent three distinct periods in the composers life; the emotional span of the four works reflected in Schumann's all-too-short 46-year life span.
Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856)
Trio in D Minor, Op. 63 (30:36)
1. I. 'Mit Energie und Leidenschaft' (12:15)
2. II. 'Lebhaft, doch nicht zu rasch' (4:52)
3. III. 'Langsam, mit inniger Empfindung' (5:41)
4. IV. 'Mit Feuer' (7:48)
Trio in F Major, Op. 80 (26:54)
5. I. 'Sehr lebhaft' (7:33)
6. II. 'Mit innigem Ausdruck' (8:37)
7. III. 'In mäßiger Bewegung' (5:29)
8. IV. 'Nicht zu rasch' (5:15)
Trio in G Minor, Op. 110 (26:48)
1. I. 'Bewegt, doch nicht zu rasch' (9:28)
2. II. 'Ziemlich langsam' (5:45)
3. III. 'Rasch' (4:19)
4. IV. 'Kraftig, mit Humor' (7:17)
Phantasiestücke, Op. 88 (18:45)
5. I. 'Romanze Nicht schnell, mit innigem Ausdruck' (2:38)
6. II. 'Humoreske Lebhaft' (7:22)
7. III. 'Duett Langsam und mit Ausdruck' (3:16)
8. IV. 'Finale Im Marsch-Tempo' (5:28)
From the opening of Trio in D Minor, Op. 63 (30:36), the breathtaking splendid 'Mit Energie und Leidenschaft' brings forth a high level of playing that remarkably keeps its pace, its presence and it's quality throughout.
True the Horszowski Trio are mostly attentive to textual detail, although there are one or two passages where they breezily skim along, but their attention to the textural details are delicious.
For my money, this trio of musicians definitely make the most of the crucial hairpins in the first movement of Op 110, suggesting a veritable ocean of emotional surges and swells.
As they open the second disc with Trio in G Minor, Op. 110 (26:48) and the lush, spirited yet always restrained 'Bewegt, doch nicht zu rasch' its their combined balance, heart for the project and overall musical swells are marvelous.
Also, it has to be brought to the fore the work accomplished here threading it all seamlessly together by producer and engineer Judith Sherman.
"The piano trios of Robert Schumann have too often been neglected as oddities." Mills explains. "but when we began to program them on our concerts, we felt a powerful connection to them."
“Schumann’s amazing textures, his heartbreaking tenderness, his humor and passion, and his mastery of form all spoke to us … we knew at once that we wanted to record these masterpieces,” he continues.
"Schumann’s world was troubled yet supremely beautiful … with these performances we want to celebrate this incredible, complex person, to revel in his emotional genius,” he adds.
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