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Schumann: Fantasiestücke, etc / Riebl, Florestan Trio

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Trio for Piano and Strings no 3 in G minor, Op. 110
>Schumann, Robert : Phantasiestucke (4) for violin, cello & piano in A minor, Op. 88
>Schumann, Robert : Quartet for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 47
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

'The Florestans - named after the more extrovert of Schumann's two artistic alter egos - have, in only five years, established themselves as the piano trio par excellence of our day. Their previous Schumann disc, comprising the D minor and F major trios, won deserved acclaim and a clutch of awards. Now they turn their attention to the late G minor trio, a comparative rarity in the concert hall these days. Listening to such exhilarating, spontaneous accounts of this wonderful music, it is hard to understand its neglect. Another superlative issue from Hyperion and the Florestans.' (The Sunday Times)

'The Florestan Trio plays all these works with characteristic thoughtfulness and intelligence. It is difficult to find fault with its performances. A valuable and highly enjoyable addition to the Schumann discography' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Revelatory performances from the Florestan. Excellently recorded, this welcome disc should win all three works a new lease of life' (Gramophone)

'This latest recording confirms that the Florestan Trio has become one of the most exciting and compelling chamber groups around. Their skill is that they let the music speak for itself but play it with passion ... magical' (Daily Express)

'Marvellous performances. The Florestan trio, individually and as an ensemble, plays with flawless technique, integrating sounds and ideas perfectly. Altogether, a fine recording' (Fanfare)

'Delightful. Most refined performances of lovely music' (Classic CD)

'A triumphant successor to their previous disc of Schumann. Indeed, it's one of the best discs of Schumann chamber music I've heard in recent years' (International Record Review)

'Irresistibly lovely music, the Florestans respond to it with performances of finesse and insight. Textures are warm, and the recording clear and well-focused. A first-rate recommendation' (The Scotsman)

'First rate in every way: thoughtful and spirited accounts of all three pieces' (Classic FM Magazine)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
After their 1999 Gramophone Award-winning disc of the first two piano trios, these players champion three works which are less frequently encountered in concert, proving once again how a revelatory interpretation can make us all think again. The G minor Piano Trio (No 3) of 1851 suffers from over-repetitive, at times perfunctory, rhythmic patterning. But thanks to the mercurial vitality and the spontaneous response to every passing innuendo from all three interwoven voices, not a note here sounds unmotivated.

The three fanciful 1842 miniatures for piano trio (revised under the title of Fantasiestücke in 1849) have long been criticised for the dominance of the keyboard in all but the third, entitled 'Duet'. Susan Tomes makes no attempt to disguise this. Last but not least, the Piano Quartet of 1842, long overshadowed by the much-loved Piano Quintet. Misha Donat's appreciative note reminds us that even the loyal Clara waited some seven years before taking it into her repertory.

The piano is rarely silent, and mustn't be allowed to dominate; so praise goes to Susan Tomes for a keen ear for balance. The Scherzo has a Mendelssohnian, elfin fleetness, and the finale (surely Schumann's ne plus ultra in exhilarating contrapuntal ingenuity) an exemplary textural clarity. The slow movement, played with touching simplicity, speaks as eloquently as any of the composer's Clara-inspired lovesongs. Excellently recorded, this welcome disc should win all three works a new lease of life.



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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Trio for Piano and Strings no 3 in G minor, Op. 110
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/17/1999-12/19/1999)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1851

>Schumann, Robert : Phantasiestücke (4) for violin, cello & piano in A minor, Op. 88
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/17/1999-12/19/1999)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1842

>Schumann, Robert : Quartet for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 47
  • Performer: Thomas Riebl (Viola)
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/17/1999-12/19/1999)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1842