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Debussy, Fauré, Ravel: Piano Trios / Florestan Trio

Album Summary

>Fauré, Gabriel : Trio for Piano and Strings in D minor, Op. 120
>Debussy, Claude : Piano Trio, L. 3
>Ravel, Maurice : Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in A minor
Performers Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

A delightful grouping of French trios from the Gramophone Award-winning Florestans, who breathe fresh life into these works Top of my list. - Gramophone

'The Florestans, exhibiting their trademark finesse, taste and sensitivity, fully demonstrate why they are one of the most highly prized of new ensembles' (The Scotsman)

'Fresh from their triumph at the Gramophone Awards with Schumann, the Florestans turn their attention to the French trio repertoire and, in particular, to a composer with whom pianist Susan Tomes and cellist Richard Lester have an especial affinity: Gabriel Fauré. Of the three works presented here, the Fauré is the latest (1923), but stylistically the D Minor Trio is as conservative as the G Minor Trio of the 18-year-old Debussy, although Fauré's late essay in the form is unquestionably the greater work. The Florestans play both with a rhythmic urgency in the fast movements and rapt concentration in the Andantinos that take the breath away. They are even finer in Ravel's masterpiece, playing with a technical bravura and sheer panache to match the greatest interpreters of this work on disc. Another absolute winner' (The Sunday Times)

'It's a lovely recital; I've never been so convinced that the Debussy's worth hearing, and the Ravel is full of delicate delights.' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A delightful grouping of French trios from the Gramophone Award-winning Florestan's, who breathe fresh life into these works ... top of my list.' (Gramophone)

'Such flair proves the Florestan Trio, if proof is needed, to be among the finest chamber ensembles of the present day. Outstandingly imaginative performances, finely recorded' (Classic CD)

SACD VERSION:

'One of the best SACD discs to date. On the CD layer the recording sounds vibrant, fluid and hugely enjoyable. Switch to SACD, though, [and you'll find] the instruments are more clearly delineated and simply sound more real, while the sense of air and space in the acoustic is thrilling... You feel enveloped as if you were there' (Gramophone)

'Beautifully wrought performances. Rendered with natural empathy and graceful ensemble-playing, the Florestan's playing is quite glorious' (Fanfare, USA)

'From impressive to breathtaking' (What Hi-Fi?)

'Excellent' (Hi-Fi News and Record Review)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
The Florestan Trio has the ability to adapt its style to different kinds of music without any loss of conviction. After Brahms and Schumann comes this French disc showing it equally adept at entering the 1880 salon world of Debussy's youthful Trio, Ravel's brilliant exotic idiom, and the intimate, intense thoughts of Fauré's old age. In the quicker movements Susan Tomes's playing is remarkably light and precise. The finale of the Fauré, for example, has a scherzando quality that throws into relief the seriousness of the strings' initial gesture. The string players are always ready to modify their sound to produce special expressive effects - the eerily quiet unison passage in Fauré's Andante (track 2, 2'54") or the vibrato-less duet in the Ravel Passacaille (track 10, 5'15") - sounding wonderfully remote and antique. The clarity of the Hyperion recording allows the fantastical detail in the Ravel Pantoum to emerge. In the Debussy, the Florestan favour elegance rather than trying to search out expressive depths.

Their freshness, imagination and purposeful directness makes this a top choice.



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Works Details

>Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924) : Trio for Piano and Strings in D minor, Op. 120
  • Performers: Richard Lester (Cello); Anthony Marwood (Violin); Susan Tomes (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (03/10/1999-03/12/1999)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1922-1923

>Debussy, Claude : Piano Trio, L. 3
  • Performers: Richard Lester (Cello); Anthony Marwood (Violin); Susan Tomes (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (03/10/1999-03/12/1999)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1879

>Ravel, Maurice : Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in A minor
  • Performers: Richard Lester (Cello); Anthony Marwood (Violin); Susan Tomes (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (03/10/1999-03/12/1999)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1914