Dvor‡k, Breiner

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Breiner,Dvorak
LABELS: 33 Jazz
WORKS: Piano Trio in F minor, Op. 65
PERFORMER: Smetana Trio
CATALOGUE NO: LT 0109-2
The new incarnation of the Smetana Trio (originally founded in the Thirties) bodes well for the future of Czech chamber-music performance. This predominantly young – though, as both soloists and chamber-music players, prodigiously experienced – group has produced one of the finest readings of Dvorák’s great F minor Trio. Their performance blends care over the letter of the score with remarkable rhythmic poise, heard at its most infectious in the Allegretto grazioso second movement and just before the close of the finale. But what propels it to the forefront of interpretations is the group’s projection of the work’s inner strengths. Some performances take an expressive lead from the fact the work was composed shortly after the death of Dvorák’s mother, which can lead to indulgence, particularly in the slow movement. The Smetana Trio’s novel approach focuses on the work’s abstract grandeur without any loss of expressiveness, but also without any hint of sentimentality, thus enhancing the work’s stature.

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While it would have been nice to have had a complementary performance of a rarer Czech trio

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as makeweight – perhaps Fibich’s F minor Trio which certainly influenced Dvorák’s – Czech composer Peter Breiner’s Sonata ostinata, blending minimalist energy with popular idioms, will appeal to many. Jan Smaczny