Kimberly Aseltine / Joel Schoenhals / Eva Stern

Trios for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano

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For the listener looking for first-class performances of first-rank trios scored for clarinet, viola, and piano, it would be hard to do better than this disc by Kim Aseltine, Eva Stern, and Joel Schoenhals. These three works -- Mozart's "Kegelstatt" Trio, Schumann's "Marchenerzahlungen" Trio, and Bruch's Eight Pieces undoubtedly represent the apogee of the form as practiced in the late eighteenth through late nineteenth century in central Europe. The performances are easily as fine as any ever recorded. Aseltine has a warm, fruity tone and a smooth technique, Stern has a rich, juicy tone and an agile technique, and Schoenhals has a subtle tone, a nuanced technique, and a wonderful way of weaving in between Aseltine and Stern. Together, they create an effervescent "Kegelstatt," a magical "Marchenerzahlungen," and a reading of Bruch's Eight Pieces so sweet, mysterious, whimsical, and endearing that it elevates the music. Recorded in clean, close, and very intimate digital sound, this disc shows off the performers and the repertoire to best advantage.

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