Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Kian Soltani

Mozart: Piano Trios

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There are plenty of recordings of Mozart's piano trios, including at least one other involving Daniel Barenboim, but this live album from Deutsche Grammophon, released in 2019, has much to recommend it. Start with the sound from Berlin's Pierre Boulez Saal, which fills the concert hall but puts you in the middle of intimate conversation among Barenboim, his son Michael, and cellist Kian Soltani. The Mozart piano trios work especially well as a set: except for the earliest one, designated a divertimento, they're all of a piece, with intricate thematic economy but a joyous, Haydn-like humor that sets them apart from the more severe string quartets. Sample one of the finales, which keep disassembling their simple themes and putting them back together in new ways. Of course, there's the fine ensemble here, which catches the humor and keeps a sense of spontaneity. A rightfully popular Mozart release, highly recommended.

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