Florestan Trio

Smetana, Martinu, Eben: Piano Trios

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AllMusic Review by

The indispensable Susan Tomes, formerly pianist with the piano quartet Domus and currently with the Florestan Trio, has again released a disc that should be heard by anyone who treasures chamber music. The release features piano trios by three Czech composers: Bedrich Smetana's G minor Trio from 1855, Bohuslav Martinu's "little" Trio Cinq pièces brèves from 1930, and Petr Eben's Piano Trio from 1986. Each piece is given its due and all fit comfortably together. Smetana's trio sounds passionate and romantic, Martinu's witty and modernist, and Eben's expressive and acerbic. Because of a certain lift in the melodic lines and a certain pungency in the harmonies, it's easy to hear how they all could have been written by composers from the same county. That's also due in part to the unity of cultural identity and in part to the fact that the Florestan Trio is just so darned good at what it does. With the full and unstinting contributions of Tomes, violinist Anthony Marwood, and cellist Richard Lester, the trio creates a wholly cogent and deeply expressive ensemble that can handle anything in the scores and make great and moving music of it. Captured in clear yet warm sound, this disc is another fine addition to Tomes' catalog.

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