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CD Review

Felix Mendelssohn

Piano Trios

  • Trio for Piano and Strings #1 in D minor, Op. 49
  • Trio for Piano and Strings #2 in C minor, Op. 66
The Florestan Trio
Hyperion CDA67485 54m DDD
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The idea of pairing Mendelssohn's two Piano Trios is certainly the smartest concept of this CD. The two go so very well together but for commercial reasons, I guess, Op. 49 is always separated from its 'big brother'. The first trio was written in 1839 when at the young age of 30, the composer had for some years already been appointed Director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig. Op. 66 followed six years later in 1845 and was dedicated to Louis Spohr. These two jewels represent the peak of Mendelssohn's relatively small chamber output and they are strongly similar in mood and structures. Both begin with a sad and intense first movement. The trio's third movement is a scherzo, full of fleeting and magical tunes very reminiscent of the Midsummer's Night Dream overture, a piece that Mendelssohn wrote when he was just 17.

The two finales commence in a very assertive mood, always generating that kind of exciting energy which finally leads to a rousing and brilliant conclusion.

The Florestan Trio, today considered to be one of the world's foremost ensembles in this kind of repertoire display a miraculous inside knowledge of these scores with fresh and breezy interpretations. Excellent notes by Robert Philip and a particularly beautiful reproduction of Morgenstern's 'View of Mount Brocker' (1829) on the front of the booklet complete a superbly engineered disc.

Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech