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. Three eminent Beethovenians, Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras and Alexander Melnikov join forces here in performances that aim to highlight Beethoven's humour in their interpretation and set a new benchmark in the process. Their next project will be Schumann Piano Trios to be recorded in May and released in 2015.
Put three such stylistically perceptive young musicians as Alexander Melnikov, Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras together and you can anticipate a result no less than stimulating. True to expectations, their playing, their sensitivity and the way they interact with each other lend their performances of Beethoven's final two piano trios both vitality and stature. --The Daily Telegraph
CHAMBER CHOICE OF THE MONTH ***** perf / ***** rec You know a performance is working well when you greet each long repeat with an inward sigh of pleasure ... The Piano Trio No.6 emerges here as vital and imaginative ... The recorded sound is fresh and clear, with the ensemble finely balanced. --Stephen Johnson, BBC Music Magazine
IRR OUTSTANDING 'a captivating performance … recorded in very clear, natural sound … This terrific new Harmonia Mundi disc can be recommended unreservedly.' --Nigel Simeone, IRR April 2014