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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Franz Schubert - Piano Trio No. 1; Trio movement; Notturno (Florestan Trio)


Composer: Franz Schubert
  1. Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, D. 898: 1. Allegro moderato
  2. Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, D. 898: 2. Andante un poco mosso
  3. Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, D. 898: 3. Scherzo: Allegro
  4. Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, D. 898: 4. Rondo: Allegro vivace - Presto
  5. Notturno in E flat major, D. 897
  6. Piano Trio movement in B flat major, D. 28

Florestan Trio
Anthony Marwood, violin
Richard Lester, cello
Susan Tomes, piano

Date: 2001
Label: Hyperion



A very fine new recording of Schubert’s great B flat piano trio from these superb musicians

The glorious Schubert B flat major Trio‚ like Beethoven’s Archduke‚ opens with a great‚ memorable swinging tune‚ yet when the melody is gently repeated (0'57") the Florestan players show how completely they are within the Schubertian sensibility. Their playing is emotionally strong‚ yet full of thoughtfully subtle‚ wonderfully responsive touches‚ as at the preparation for the first­movement recapitulation‚ and the delightful interplay thereafter (10'29" and onwards).

Richard Lester and Susan Tomes open the Andante with disarming simplicity – and just listen to the spontaneous dialogue between all three players later (between 5'00" and when the main theme returns so seductively at 6'14"). The Scherzo sparkles with just the right light­hearted touch and Anthony Marwood leads into the Trio most delicately and winningly‚ while the finale has an airy grace which is irresistible. In short this stands out among modern recordings of this fine work and the contrasts of the heartfelt Notturno are equally telling.

The Movement in B flat makes a freshly endearing bonus. Superbly balanced by Tony Faulkner and Andrew Keener‚ the recording is completely lifelike‚ and the acoustic of the Henry Wood Hall creates an ideal ambience. This will be hard to beat‚ and one eagerly awaits the E flat major Trio (due for release in July).

-- Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: ***** / SOUND: *****


Franz Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer who was extremely prolific during his short lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical era and early Romantic era and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century. His music is characterized by pleasing tunes while still has "a great wealth of technical finesse".


The Florestan Trio was formed in 1995 in London. That year the piano quartet Domus disbanded, and that group's pianist Susan Tomes and its cellist Richard Lester, together with violinist Anthony Marwood, formed the Florestan Trio. The Trio has established a reputation as one of the finest piano trios in the world. In its first decade, the group has made 14 recordings on the Hyperion label, all of which received Gramophone nominations. Its concerts have also drawn enthusiastic receptions from critics and public alike.


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