Beethoven Piano Trios Op.70 No.2 & Op.97 'Archduke'
By giving the stringed instruments the status of genuinely equal partners with the piano, it was Beethoven who gave the piano trio the form it was to retain throughout the 19th century. This album presents the composer's last two works in the genre, Op.70 No.2 dedicated to Countess Marie Erdödy, and the celebrated 'Archduke' trio, which marked the final public appearance of its composer. All three eminent Beethovenians, violinist Isabelle Faust, Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and pianist Alexander Melnikov join forces here in performances that set a new standard.
At the 2010 Gramophone Awards, violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov were praised for "a searching and very poetic collection of Beethoven's sonatas" upon winning the chamber music category. The Guardian wrote, "[they] are ideal partners, wrestling with the musical dialogue with poise, imagination and freshness."
Some of the most famous scenes in the Romantic opera repertoire, revisited by two outstanding soloists, in an unusual instrumental combination (oboe and harp) that is nevertheless perfectly in keeping with the opera house. Alongside the evergreen ‘Meditation’ from 'Thaïs', Céline Moinet and Sarah Christ have assembled a multitude of composers and works to produce a programme that is sheer enchantment.
“a superlative recording. Céline Moinet is clearly one of the finest oboists in the world; this disc is of such consistent musical and technical quality as to hold the attention throughout…an astonishingly successful release on all counts.”
Robert Matthew-Walker, IRR OUTSTANDING, International Record Review, July/August 2012
Tchaikovsky and Arensky
Tchaikovsky Piano Trio Op. 50
Arensky Piano Trio Op. 32
Tchaikovsky’s celebrated large-scale Trio Op.50 sets the tone of this recording, at once elegiac and virtuosic. Dedicated to his friend Nikolay Rubinstein with the French epigraph ‘À la mémoire d'un grand artiste’, it shows great originality both in its dimensions and in its style, which calls for highly skilled performers. A similarly ambitious work is the Trio Op.32 of Anton Stepanovich Arensky, also dedicated to the memory of a musician, the cellist Karl Davidov (1838-89). This gem of chamber music, much less often played, constitutes the true discovery of the programme. The Trio Wanderer celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012. Feted by the international press for its extraordinarily sensitive playing, its almost telepathic complicity, and its complete instrumental mastery, the Trio Wanderer is one of the finest chamber music formations in the world today.
The First World War, a crucible of artistic change, intervened between Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Berg’s Lyric Suite. From opposite sides of that traumatic divide, the program of each work deals with adulterous love. Richard Dehmel's poem that inspired Verklärte Nacht evokes the conception of an illegitimate child and its pardon. The amorous dialogue between Berg and Hanna Fuchs and its painful epilogue form the subtext to the Lyric Suite. Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras leads the Ensemble Resonanz in striking and virtuosic accounts of both these seminal works of the second Viennese school.