Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49; Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66

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COMPOSERS: Mendelssohn
LABELS: PentaTone
ALBUM TITLE: Mendelssohn
WORKS: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49; Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66
PERFORMER: Julia Fischer (violin), Daniel Müller-Schott (cello), Johathon Gilad (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 5186 085
It’s good to hear these great works


played with full ardour by such a

talented group of young musicians.

In these players’ hands the fiery

opening Allegro of the D minor

Trio is impassioned without

ever sounding garbled, and with

something sensibly left in reserve

for the more animated coda; while

the scherzo is every bit as fleeting

and light as it ought to be. In the less

familiar, though in no sense inferior,

C minor companion-piece it’s

possible to feel that the rather slow

tempo they adopt for the Andante

runs the risk of sentimentalising

the music, but the playing itself is

so accomplished that it would be

churlish to complain. However, the

piano trio is a notoriously difficult

medium to balance successfully,

and Pentatone’s recording sounds

constricted, with the piano’s ‘spot’

microphone clearly in evidence; and

perhaps it’s partly for this reason

that the scherzo of the Op. 66 Trio is

never quite as delicate as it should be.

For the finest recorded sound, try

the Florestan Trio, whose scherzos are

as transparent as you could wish. As a

single-disc alternative, this Hyperion

version is confidently recommended,

but the 1980s recordings by the

Beaux Arts Trio bring a touch more

intensity to the Allegros and more

depth to the slow movements. The

feeling of spring-coil tension the

Beaux Arts convey in the opening

movement of the C minor Trio is


unmatched by its rivals. Misha Donat