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CD Review

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Trios Op. 70

  • Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 #1 "Ghost"
  • Piano Trio in E Flat Major, Op. 70 #2
  • Allegretto in B Flat Major
The Florestan Trio
Hyperion CDA67327 60m DDD
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This is the first disc in a projected complete collection of the Beethoven Piano Trios recorded by the Florestan Trio. Although we are not exactly rolling in recordings of this group of works, this ensemble bring a refreshing and enlightened view to proceedings.

The 'Ghost' Trio is a marvel of expressive beauty and invention, especially in that mystical and mysterious Larghetto. Marwood and Tomes combine very well with Lester providing the necessary background accompaniment. The swagger and confidence of the opening First Movement is also very well conveyed as is the bubby Finale.

With the 2nd Trio we are faced with a four movement structure that occasionally recalls the 2nd symphony. However, Beethoven places the slow movement in third place, although one could argue that both Allegrettos are slow movements. Again the Florestan group sail through the music with nobility, almost matching the immaculate Beaux Arts Trio on Philips for authoritative drive and class.

The Florestan Trio also include the short, delightful Allegretto in B Flat Major which provides for a refreshing conclusion. If you are collecting these trios then this set looks to be the ideal one for the new decade.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech