Dvor‡k. Suk

COMPOSERS: Dvorák. Suk
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Dvorák. Suk
WORKS: Piano Trios: in B flat, Op. 21;
in G minor, Op. 26. Elegy, Op. 23
PERFORMER: Florestan Trio
CATALOGUE NO: Hyperion CDA 67572
Dvorák’s mature style crystalised in these two trios from the mid 1870s, along with other works such as the Fifth Symphony. The blend of melancholy and engaging chamber interplay, which so commended him to audiences across Europe in the 1880s, is everywhere apparent in these two works and perhaps at its most engaging in the first movement of the B flat Trio. Unfortunately, while certainly giving an infectious performance, the Florestan Trio are not at their best in the B flat: tempos often seem unsettled and there is little sense of magic in the luminous latter parts of the first movement’s development. This is a serviceable account, but it falls a long way short of the Vienna Piano Trio’s inspired reading. Their performance of the G minor Trio is in a different league. Here the flexible approach to tempo and melodic detail does much to enhance the work’s expressive language without losing any sense of line. Impressive in nearly every detail, their rendition approaches very closely the Borodin Trio’s benchmark recording. Excellently balanced and recorded, these performances, combined with a superbly intense reading of Suk’s brief Elegy make for a very estimable issue.