Borodin Trio

Mendelssohn: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2

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The Borodin Trio's recording of Mendelssohn's two piano trios was first released in 1985 and reissued in 2009, in time for the Mendelssohn bicentennial. The performances may not be as warmly opulent as fans of the group might like. Fans used to their big-vibrato, heart-on-the-sleeve approach to the trios of Schubert and Brahms could miss the Trio's usual ultra-lush ensemble and super-heated sonority. Listeners who are more interested in Mendelssohn than in the group, though, may appreciate this disc. The Borodin Trio's playing is ardently passionate, with vibrant lines, robust harmonies and a forceful sense of rhythm, and this approach is just right for Mendelssohn's music. The performers don't overdo it by wrapping each line in too much vibrato, burdening each harmony with too much weight, or driving the tempos with too much power. Instead, they find the right balance between the two sides of Mendelssohn's classical-romantic nature and are able to deliver performances of the trios as fine as the best ever recorded. Chandos' early digital sound is less in-your-face than their later digital sound, and is ideal for chamber music.

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