Münchner Klaviertrio

Dvorák: Piano Trio, Op. 65; Dumky Trio, Op. 90

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Written following a period of musical setbacks and disappointments, the somewhat gloomy, dark Piano Trio in F minor of Dvorák transforms an ensemble of only three instruments into a nearly symphonic form. Seven years later, the "Dumky" Piano Trio in E minor -- one of the composer's best-known and most performed works -- retains the rich scoring of the F minor trio while also folding in moments of simplicity and serenity. Countless recordings of these two trios exist, especially the "Dumky," and new contributions have a steep climb to distinguish themselves. The Munich Piano Trio, heard here on this Genuin album, misses the mark. Several smaller offenses quickly add up to a performance that comes across as rather lazy and disinterested. Intonation is sloppy at times, particularly top notes of phrases and when playing in unison or octaves. Balance is careless with the piano, surprisingly, sometimes obscured by the strings. The ensemble's sound quality also slides particularly in dense, forte sections; instead of capturing Dvorák's symphonic scoring, listeners get just a loud, forced sound.

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