Mendelssohn: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2, Opp. 49,66
Mendelssohn: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2, Opp. 49,66
by Felix Mendelssohn
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To commemorate the Mendelssohn bicentennial in 2009, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, and violinist Itzhak Perlman collaborated together for the first time and recorded the Mendelssohn Piano Trios. This is the first chamber recording these three virtuosos have recorded together. Yo-Yo Ma is a world-renowned, multiple Grammy Award-winning cellist and is currently celebrating his 30th anniversary with Sony Masterworks.
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|Audio CD Release Date:||February 02, 2010|
|Number Of Discs:||1|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 29 reviews|
|1. ||Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49; I. Molto allegro e agitato|
|2. ||Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49; II. Andante con moto tranquillo|
|3. ||Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49; III. Scherzo: Leggiero e vivace|
|4. ||Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49; IV. Finale: Allegro assai appassionato|
|5. ||Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor Op. 66; I. Allegro energico e con fuoco|
|6. ||Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor Op. 66; II. Andante espressivo|
|7. ||Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor Op. 66; III. Scherzo: Molto allegro quasi presto|
|8. ||Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor Op. 66; IV. Finale: Allegro appassionato|
MA YO-YO / AX EMANUEL / PERLMAN ITZHAK MENDELSSOHN: PIANO TRIOS OP. 49 - OP. 66
|Average Customer Review: ( 29 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 found the following review helpful:
Lovely Mendelssohn Piano Trios Mar 23, 2006
By Robin Friedman
All too often, the music of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-- 1847) is treated dismissively as a sort of overly polished and bland specimen of Victorian romanticism. This CD of Mendelssohn's two piano trios should go a long way towards correcting this view. Mendelssohn's two piano trios are both in the minor key. They both are full of passion, lyricism, and intimacy. The works were written to be performed by capable amateur musicians in the intimacy of the home, a type of "hausmusik" that, alas, is not common today. But the trios are delightful to hear for the multitude of music lovers that, in our day, do not play or have the opportunity to play. The music is fully accessible and will appeal to those coming for the first time to chamber music as well as to experienced listeners.
The trios are performed by the Gould Piano Trio, an ensemble consisting of three young English musicians: Lucy Gould, Violin, Martin Storey, cello, and Benjamin Firth, piano. The performance is exquisite, with great expression and musicianship both in ensemble and in solo passages. The disk has received substantial critical acclaim.
Mendelssohn's first piano trio in D minor opus 49 dates from 1837 while the second piano trio in C minor opus 66 dates from 1845. Each work is in four movements. Both trios have extended and brilliant piano parts (I am a pianist at heart.) while the first trio spotlights the cello considerably more that does the second. There are many similarities between the two trios, but each has a voice of its own.
The first movement of the D minor features two melancholy and lyrical themes, each of which is stated initially by the cello. The opening movement of the C minor trio opens with a dark arpeggio passage for the piano and continues with a pleading, passionate theme first stated in the violin. The opening movements of both works include large minor-key climaxes, big chordal passages for the piano, and passionate endings.
Each trio has a lovely, lyrical slow movement which begins with a lengthy piano solo -- that of the C minor trio is rather the more introspective. In both trios, the cello and violin complement the piano and give the slow movements warm flowing characters contrasting to the outbursts in the opening movements.
Both trios include a light, quickly-paced scherzo of a type unique to Mendelssohn. The D minor begins with quick, repeated passages for the ensemble which develop into a brief, energetic middle section and which return in a quiet, light and energetic close. The scherzo of its companion features an endlessly spinning figuration in the piano accompanied by themes in the violin and cello. The movement includes long running light passagework for the piano and a soft pizzicato close in the strings.
The finales of both trios are rondos which open in the minor key, progress through a series of episodes with clangorous piano chordal writing and shimmering arpeggios and contrasting dramatic or lyrical passages for the cello and violin. Both finales work themselves at length into the major key and end on a tone of triumph.
This recording of Mendelsshon's piano trios is full of the intimacy and joy in music-making that characterize chamber music at its best.
36 of 43 found the following review helpful:
Suave, experienced, relaxed musicianship from three old pros Feb 02, 2010
By Santa Fe Listener
This album to commemorate Mendelssohn's bicentennial has shown up a little past 2009, but it's a welcome return to chamber music by three stars in the classical world. Of the major labels, Sony BMG seems to have given up on chamber music almost completely. Thank goodness we have an archive of recordings from the era when Yo-Yo Ma and Isaac Stern, often in the company of Emanuel Ax, produced an outpouring of Brahms CDs that remain the best modern renditions. Perlman has made fewer appearances in chamber music since his early days but is, of course, accomplished in his own right.
Here they compete with the ghost of Stern, whose all but definitive account of the two Mendelssohn Piano Trios with partners Leonard Rose and Eugene Istomin derives from an even earlier era before he met Ma. As befits the performers' gray hair, these new recordings are seasoned and relaxed. The whirlwind Scherzo in Trio no. 1 won't stir up any dust; the opening Molto allegro e agitato is far from being either very fast or agitated. Is it right to turn the finale, marked "very fast" and "passionate," into something more civilized? The same experienced, suave restraint hovers over Trio no. 2 as well. Comparisons with Istomin-Stern-Rose or the trio led by Julia Fischer on PentaTone, not to mention the ultra-energized Martha Argerich and Friends (EMI), reveal how this music sounds when played with more vitality. On the other hand, there's no denying that the playing here bespeaks Cadillac musicianship, even if it rarely gets out of first gear
17 of 19 found the following review helpful:
A musical delight Apr 08, 2010
By Mary E. White
The combination of Mendelssohn's music and a trio of marvelous performers to play it is unbeatable. All three members of the trio are skilled solo musicians. In this recording Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma prove beyond a doubt that they are magnificent ensemble players as well.
Mendelssohn and spring seem to go together. Even in the middle of a bitterly cold winter or a hot and humid summer, this recording sings of spring. The melodies, traded back and forth between instruments, are so beautiful that the listener is moved to hum along in his/her mind and heart.
There is no fighting for supremacy in this recording. The musicians honor the flow of the music and the sensitivity required by it. The melodies flow seamlessly from cello to violin to piano and back again. All in all, this is a magnificent recording of a superlative performance.
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Mendelssohn Piano Trios Dec 09, 2007
By Bill Atkinson
To most individuals, Mendelssohn is a pleasant Nineteenth Century composer comparable to the painter Dante Gabriel Rosseti or the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. They have heard the Wedding March, the Hebrides overture, and perhaps snippets from Elijah. In my estimation, he was also a major composer of chamber music second only to Beethoven and then Schubert.
The first trio is well balanced with a darkly driving first movement. This is succeeded by a second movement which seems to be a cross between a lullaby and a hymn. The third movement is pert and the last is suggestive of an Eastern European dance.
The initial movement of the second trio has an intensity similar to its counterpart in the first trio. The second movement is undistinguished but the third has a marked similarity to one of the passages in the Midsummer Nights music. The last movement displays a broadly expansive melody.
The Gould Piano Trio (Lucy, not Glenn)gives a well balanced performance and the recording has the technical excellence usually attained by Naxos.
If you like these recordings, try the series issued by Naxos particularly the sixth quartet which has the poignance and emotional intensity of the first Smetana quartet. (Incidently I do not recommend the Naxos recording of the Smetana.)
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Great Longhair Sep 09, 2011
By Steven Tibbetts
This music isn't for everyone and I can only tolerate the best. Well, this is the best. Three of the greatest talents performing together is magnificent. It plays in the car continuously.
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