Florestan Trio

Dvorák: Piano Trios, Op. 21 & Op. 26; Suk: Elegy, Op. 23

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The two piano trios on this disc sound forward, perhaps even a bit flirtatious, and because these are not qualities often associated either with the composer Antonin Dvorák or with his more popular Piano Trio in F minor, you may find these earlier trios in B flat major and G minor surprising. But expansive of form, lyrical in expression, and heart-on-the-sleeve in tone as they are, the works are in fact quite typical of the young composer, and in these performances England's Florestan Trio plays them with sufficient sincerity and virtuosity as to make them wholly convincing. Violinist Anthony Marwood and cellist Richard Lester both have rich, full tones and their blend with polished pianist Susan Tomes has the touch of burnished oak and the taste of aged whiskey. But it is the interpretations that are most remarkable. Instead of the standard-issue elegance so many groups bring to all Dvorák's of piano trios, the Florestan Trio's view of the B flat major and the G minor trios' is lighter and much more vivacious, with a supple sense of tempo and a sensuous take on sonorities. The effect is slyly seductive and altogether captivating, and as coupled with a soulful and sensitive performance of Josef Suk's Elegy in D flat major for piano trio, these make for mandatory listening for fans of either Bohemian composer.

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