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Beethoven: Complete Music for Piano Trio 1 / Florestan Trio

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings no 5 in D major, Op. 70 no 1 "Ghost"
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 70/2
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings no 8 in B flat major, WoO 39
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"No piano trio today conveys such a feeling of spontaneous, excited discovery as the Florestan. The glorious E flat Trio is done with a mingled grace, wit and brio that surpasses all other recordings I've ever heard. The Schubertian intermezzo ideally balances urgency and lyrical tenderness, while the Allegretto second movement, often done too slowly, here has a jaunty spring in its step, with the players tearing gleefully into the flamboyant 'Hungarian' episodes." ***** Wigmore, BBC

'For an exhilarating sense of live music-making, of players constantly challenging and coaxing each other to new insights, these irresistible performances make this one of the discs of the year' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is playing of quite extraordinary sensitivity and depth. I can hardly wait until the next volume' (The Independent)

'Hugely enjoyable' (The Sunday Times)

'A recording that immediately, from the first impetuous bars of Op 70 No 1, feels just right' (Gramophone)

'This new Florestan account of the two Op. 70 trios is outstanding in every way. The playing is quite gripping and masterly, and the sound is vivid and well balanced. These are arguably the most satisfying accounts in the catalogue, and certainly the best we have had in recent years' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'The Florestan Trio plays them with great immediacy and vigour; everything is beautifully balanced and argued out' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Susan Tomes' controlled, musical piano playing is a constant source of delight' (The Strad)

'This is a highly auspicious beginning to the Florestans' survey of the Beethoven piano trios... Totally convincing' (The Guardian)

'should grab even the most casual listener... a real winner' (The Times)

'The Florestan embark on the complete Beethoven piano trios, the first release pointing to a cycle that is going to be very special. The playing is unfailingly perceptive and full of musical insights... However many times you have these works in your collection, this is an essential purchase' (The Yorkshire Post)

'I can't say I have ever heard better' (Fanfare, USA)

'Hyperion's ability to pick outstanding musicians from the universal crop has rarely been better directed than in the case of the Florestan Trio' (Music Week)

'dash, energy, exuberance, tempered by an acute awareness of each other ... a highly enjoyable disc' (Pianist)

'There's such unanimity of purpose here, three minds united in their common musical goal, and yet able to realise it without surrendering their individual character... buy this now, and wait impatiently for Beethoven volume 2' (BBCi)

'no current trio conveys such a spontaneous sense of enthusiasm and discovery as The Florestan... The performers bounce ideas off one another, stimulating and persuading each to reveal fresh insights and creating a wonderful sense of live music making. With very good engineering this now has to be the first choice among recordings of these works' (Hi-Fi Plus)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Here's a recording that immediately, from the first, impetuous bars of Op 70 No 1, feels just right. In this movement the Florestan makes the long second repeat, but there's such a sense of momentum that no one could find it too extended or repetitious. Indeed, the reiterated chords that precede the lead-back reignite our concentration with their air of tense mystery.

And when we reach this point for the second time, the G major harmony at the start of the coda has a wonderful, dense tranquillity. The famous 'Ghost' movement creates a powerful, chilling effect, with stark, senza vibrato string tone and the extraordinary writing in the piano's deep bass register exploited by Susan Tomes with superb control and sensitivity.

Op 70 No 2 is something of a Cinderella work, but the Florestan performance helps us to see it as a major achievement of Beethoven's middle period. Although they're a thoughtful, highly controlled group, there's room for moments of the most intense expression. And the finale, one of Beethoven's most prodigiously inventive pieces, has in this performance a feeling of uninhibited enjoyment. The recorded sound and balance are equally fine.



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings no 5 in D major, Op. 70 no 1 "Ghost"
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/28/2001-10/30/2001)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1808

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 70/2
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/28/2001-10/30/2001)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1808

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Trio for Piano and Strings no 8 in B flat major, WoO 39
  • Ensemble: Florestan Trio (England)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1812