In addition to having technique to burn, the Atlantis Trio has the tone, the taste, and the temperament to fulfill Mendelssohn's tempo indications in his D minor Piano Trio. This is no easy task, but performing on period instruments, Dutch violinist Jaap Schröder and American cellist and fortepianist Enid Sutherland and Penelope Crawford bring out the agitated in the Molto Allegro agitato, the tranquillo in the Andante con moto tranquillo, and especially the appassionato in the Finale Allegro assai appassionato. Just as importantly, they have the virtuosity to stick together at a true avivace in the Scherzo's Leggiero e vivace, and thus their performance of the trio as a whole is an ideal combination of music and musicians. The same cannot quite be said of the Atlantis' performance of Mendelssohn's D major Piano Sextet. A heavily scored work for two violins, viola, cello, bass, and piano, in the Atlantis' account the Sextet sounds sometimes thick textured in the Adagio and occasionally rhythmically ungainly in the Menuetto and Trio. But the lyrical quality of the performance is quite winning, and it is hard to resist the rhythmic energy of the outer movements. Captured in warm, deep digital sound by Peter Watchorn and Joel Gordon, the Sextet is ultimately more than acceptable -- and the trio is as fine a recording of Mendelssohn's chamber music on period instruments as has ever been released.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49|
|Sextet for violin, 2 violas, cello, double bass & piano in D major, Op. 110|