Schumann: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor; Piano Trio No. 2 in F

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COMPOSERS: Schumann
LABELS: Virgin Ultraviolet
WORKS: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor; Piano Trio No. 2 in F
PERFORMER: Grieg Trio
CATALOGUE NO: CUV 5 61313 2
These are stormy, full-blooded performances of Schumann. The young Norwegian trio gives the D minor all the dark urgency of a late Brahms work. In the sunnier, beautifully shaped F major, it is again unafraid to push its expressiveness to the limits. One slight disappointment was the magical moment in the first movement when the cello plays a pianissimo melody and is then joined by the violin, as at a distance, here spoiled by Sølve Sigerland’s querulously wide vibrato. Compared with a classic recording, such as the Thibaud-Cortot-Casals, the tempi are swift. This can make for a congested sound when all are playing at full tilt, as in the F major finale, but there are places when speed is apt, such as the buoyant last movement of the D minor, ‘mit Feuer’ (with fire) as it says, but here also with love. In the F major slow movement, the Grieg shows another face: tender, unstrained, gracious. Helen Wallace

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