Mozart: Piano Trio in B flat, K502; Piano Trio in E, K542; Piano Trio in C, K548

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COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Nimbus
WORKS: Piano Trio in B flat, K502; Piano Trio in E, K542; Piano Trio in C, K548
PERFORMER: Vienna Piano Trio
CATALOGUE NO: NI 5617
The best of Mozart’s piano trios rank among his finest chamber music. The exquisite instrumental balance and sheer technical bravura of the B flat and E major Trios (K502 and K542 respectively) exemplify the composer’s inspired reconciliation of the inherently uneven forces of piano, violin and cello. And, although the C major Trio (K548) lacks the expressive power of its predecessors, its abounding gaiety and charm are deliciously entertaining.

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On their latest release, the Vienna Piano Trio build on an already considerable reputation for the polish and intelligence of their interpretations with finely crafted performances of these pieces. Excellent recordings present a natural acoustic space, with the piano slightly forward in centre stage flanked by violin (left) and cello (right).

These musicians winningly highlight the concerto brilliance of the outer movements and expressive intimacy of the slow ones in the B flat and E major Trios. The luminescent sparkle of Mendl’s pianism plays delightfully against his colleagues’ stylish dialogue, everywhere enhancing this group’s sensitive phrasing and beautifully focused detail.

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The C major Trio may be a less distinguished composition, but the verve with which the Vienna Trio plays this work generates an infectious sense of enjoyment that is completely irresistible. Nicholas Rast