Founded in 1927 and consisting of three brothers, the Pasquier Trio was an extremely active string trio for more than four decades. They premiered several works by contemporary composers, but regrettably left little in the way of a recorded legacy and as such have largely been forgotten. Perhaps the group's most memorable contribution was cellist Etienne Pasquier's participation in the premiere of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, with Messiaen himself at the piano in the POW camp. This album, one of their few circulating recordings, was recorded in 1951 and consists of four Bach Prelude & Fugue arrangements attributed to Mozart, as well as the K. 563 Divertimento for string trio. Mozart was certainly not the Pasquier Trio's focus and its approach is highly Romanticized: deep in the string, heavy vibrato, and plenty of rubato. Still, the album gives listeners the opportunity to learn exactly why a string trio could successfully exist for so long. Their sound quality is highly refined, warm, well-balanced, and richly colored despite the age of the recording. Technical skills match the sound quality, delivering precise intonation, crisp articulation, and wonderfully detailed ensemble playing. While this may not be the prime example of how Mozart should be played, it is an enjoyable model of how pleasing a string trio can be.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Divertimento for String Trio in E flat major, K, 563|