English pianist Susan Tomes has made a career of playing chamber music. Back in the '80s and '90s, she was the pianist with the Domus Ensemble, a piano quartet that recorded just about every work in the repertoire for that combination. In the '90s, Tomes helped found the Florestan Trio and set to work recording just about every work in the repertoire for that combination. With this disc, Tomes and her partners, violinist Anthony Marwood and cellist Richard Lester, have begun mining the mother lode of piano trio job security: the complete trios of Haydn: 43 works that usually take nine discs to record. The first volume has four works, including two of the most popular of the series: the G major Trio (Hob XV:25), called the "Gypsy Rondo" because of its finale; and the F sharp minor Trio (Hob XV:26), featuring a version of the Adagio cantabile slow movement from Symphony No. 102. As before, indeed, as always, Tomes and her fellows turn in exemplary performances. There's lightness in their tone and touch, wit and affection in the interpretations, grace and elegance in their ensemble, and a smiling cheerfulness in their approach, which ideally suits the composer. Here, the better known trios come off as delightful and the lesser known trios come off as no less charming. Recorded in clear and detailed sound, this disc deserves to be heard by anyone interested in the works, the form, the composer, or the performers.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Keyboard Trio in D major, H. 15/24|
|Keyboard Trio in G major ("Gypsy Trio") H. 15/25|
|Keyboard Trio in F sharp minor, H. 15/26|
|Keyboard Trio in C major, H. 15/27|