The slick, rattling tones of the mammoth A minor trio are well characterised here. I have never heard the Barbican Trio before but they definitely go to the heart of the matter with substantial power and attack behind their interpretations. This is a highly original work beginning with a movement marked, Moderato assai and an intriguing, if not wholly compelling, Tema con variazioni which does occasionally tend to overstate its welcome. Nothwitstanding these short qualms, Tchaikovsky can never fail to thrill and these young musicians are definitely on top of the proceedings in a way which is remarkably complementary with their rivals on Chandos and Hyperion (Bekova Sisters, Florestan Trio).
The accompanying Rachmaninoff Piano Trio is much shorter at just twelve minutes but no less biting and evocative. Once again, the Barbican Piano Trio give an honest to goodness performance all around and Guild's recording is also a model of clarity and directness. Recommended for this particular coupling.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech