10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Masterful Russian trios,
By A Customer
This review is from: Rachmaninov & Shostakovich: Russian Piano Trios (Audio CD)
Each of these trios were written to commemorate the passing of great inspirational figures in the lives of Rachmaninov and Shostakovich respectively. They are both wonderfully sombre and passionate pieces. Rachmaninov's second 'elegaic' trio contains some of his most beautiful writing, reminiscent of the Third Symphony and the Variations on a Theme of Paganini. Shostakovich's second trio marks not only an intense period of personal loss, but also a desperate time for the Soviet people, and thus has wider ramifications, encompassing the terrible privations of the Second World War and the greater tragedy of the Holocaust.
The conflicting emotions of sorrow, anger and celebration are powerfully rendered here. Kniazev's cello sound is haunting, particularly in the opening movement of the Shostakovich, where he evokes an extraordinarily spine-chilling, eery effect of utter desolation. There are some exquisite pianissimo passages from Berezovsky in the Rachmaninov, and at times the piano takes on a remarkable orchestral quality such that you can almost hear whole sections of trumpets and flutes. The ensemble is faultless, the interaction between Kniazev and Makhtin so seamless that at times it's hard to tell them apart, the attention to detail astounding, and the energy with which all this is delivered truly impressive. Highly recommended.