The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio is one of the most long-standing entities in chamber music and one of the very few ensembles still maintaining its original members. Over the course of its 30-year career together, the group has amassed a long list of professional accolades and an impressive discography. Its recorded works are typically energetic, passionate, and filled with informed and sensible musical decisions. This recording of the Tchaikovsky and Arensky piano trios is no exception. The Tchaikovsky begins quite mournfully, and the character changes in the variation set are all executed convincingly. The lesser-known Arensky First Piano Trio is a splendid match for the Tchaikovsky and is performed with equal measure of sparkling elegance and emotional acumen. Where this recording does fall short of the mark is in the areas of intonation and sound quality. For an ensemble of this stature to not play precisely in tune is just inexcusable. Yet there are moments throughout where shifts don't quite make it, harmonies don't quite line up, or unisons don't quite match. The sound quality on this particular album is also quite heavy on the treble end of things, making Robinson's sound much less full than usual. Unless you're a big fan of this particular ensemble, a superior recording of these two works can be found on the Sony label with Yefim Bronfman, Cho-Liang Lin, and Gary Hoffman.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Piano Trio in A minor ("In Memory of a Great Artist"), Op. 50|
|Piano Trio No.1 in D minor, Op. 32|