The piano trios of Ravel and Schubert (in this case, the Second Trio) may initially seem like somewhat unusual CD-mates. Both, however, are intensely lyrical and expressive, exploring the full sonic potential of the piano trio. Written more than 90 years apart, they both contain moments of ethereal, almost otherworldly simplicity and precision. Performing these two cornerstones of the repertoire is the young Icicle Creek Piano Trio, a group serving as Ensemble-in-Residence at a nonprofit organization of the same name in Leavenworth, WA. The level of introspection, attention to detail, poise, and control over virtually every aspect of the performance far exceeds the relatively few years the group has been playing together. The Ravel is filled with a nice palate of tone colors and textures. Pianist Oksana Ezhokina achieves a very convincing, secco, pizzicato-like sound in the vivacious second movement while the strings produce a glassy introduction to the finale. Schubert finds the trio changing character and tone nicely, keeping things nimble and crisp while maintaining long, legato lines. Cellist Sally Singer's playing in the opening theme of the second movement is moving and entirely satisfying. The finale, which is quite lengthy and can easily become tedious, is energetic and forward moving throughout, maintaining listeners' attention and interest from the first measure to the last.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Piano Trio in A minor|
|Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat major, D. 929 (Op. 100)|