Rachmaninov Trio Moscow

Glinka, Tchaikovsky: Piano Trios

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The verdict on the Rachmaninov Trio Moscow's 2000 performances of Glinka's Trio Pathétique in D minor and Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A minor would have to be that they may be good, but they are certainly not great. Though the musicians clearly love the music -- listen to the way they phrase the big tunes and balance the big harmonies -- they are not quite together enough to do it justice. At a local level, this means their attacks and releases are not precise. At a larger level, it means that the movements don't cohere structurally. This is not as apparent in Glinka's trio, since the four-movement work lasts less than 15 minutes. But in the three-movement, nearly 50-minute Tchaikovsky trio, the long opening sonata movement sounds fractured, and the even longer central theme and variations movement sounds like it stops and starts between nearly every variation. These problems mean the performances will likely fail to satisfy. The CD is recorded in close, warm digital sound.

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