Guarneri Trio

Dvorák: The Complete Piano Trios

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The Guarneri Trio Prague plays Dvorák the old-fashioned way, with lots of virtuosity and emotion. In this two-disc set of the Bohemian composer's four piano trios, the Czech group turns in performances as fiery, passionate, and thrilling as the best ever recorded. The group features a lush collective sound, plus an ensemble that's tight enough to use rubato freely, and the musicians clearly feel an affinity for the music of their country's greatest composer. In the F minor Trio, one of Dvorák's most heartfelt chamber works, their playing glows with a searing intensity. In the early B flat major and G minor trios, the Guarneri delivers highly energized readings that make the most of the works' ardent lyricism (while effectively disguising the music's occasional formal excesses). And in the Dumky Trios, six single-movement works set in the archetypical Bohemian dance form, combining deeply melancholic outer sections with wildly exuberant central sections, their performances are hugely affecting and exciting. Though longtime fans of the composer may already have favorite performances of these works, they will surely find much to enjoy here. Listeners who don't already know them but are fond of Dvorák will likely be transported. Praga's sound is close and very vivid.

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