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Felix Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49
I. Molto allegro ed agitato
II. Andante con moto tranquillo
III. Scherzo - Leggiero e vivace
IV. Finale - Allegro assai appassionato
Robert Schumann: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63
I. Allegro appassionato
II. Allegro ma non troppo
III. Andante espressivo
IV. Con fuoco
“Tully Potter's introductory note reminds us that it was in Paris, in their later twenties, that these three legendary artists first made music together – just for pleasure. But international acclaim after a public début in 1907 soon led to their devoting a regular part of each year to this sphere for just over the next quarter-century. We're told that Schumann's No 1 was always one of their recital favourites. Here it's difficult to evaluate their playing in technical terms such as minute attention to expressive detail without loss of flow, impeccable ensemble, and last but not least, choice of tempo (slower than Schumann's suggestions in the searching Langsam,mit inniger Empfindung). The impression is more of intimately shared awareness of, and response to, the music's inner secrets – as if personally communicated to them by the composer himself. In reproduction you're at once aware of difficulty in doing justice to Thibaud's beguiling violin, notably in the higher reaches of Mendelssohn's agitated opening movement. Here it's outweighed by Casals' sumptuously ripe cello and Cortot's multi-voiced keyboard. But the immediacy and freshness of the playing wins the day in a beautifully nuanced Andante, a delectably mischievous Scherzo, and an unflaggingly urgent finale. Ward Marston's skilful engineering is at its truest and best here.”
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