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Antonín DVOŘÁK 1841-1904)
Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor, Op. 65 [38:33]
Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90 “Dumky” [32:14]
Trio Solisti
rec. 18-20 May 2011, Theater C, Purchase College, Purchase, New York
BRIDGE 9393 [70:47]

This is the kind of delightful surprise we reviewers are always waiting for. I have pretty entrenched favorite recordings of Dvořák’s “Dumky” trio, in the Guarneri Trio Prague and Suk Trio, but this recording by the Trio Solisti actually earns a place in that company. They bring irresistible passion and a myriad delightful little touches: the urgency with which the piece begins, Jon Klibonoff’s staccato piano playing in certain passages of dumka number four, rubato which allows cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach to tease and tug on the melodies, the rustic violin of Maria Bachmann all through the finale. At 3:20 they’re just too good. This trio knows how to use pauses to great effect, and the differences in pacing between each of the dumka’s sections are perfectly judged.
 
The performance of the more Brahmsian third trio is very good too, at its best in the least Brahmsy of the movements, the scherzo. These are extraordinary, impassioned performers, all of whom could probably pursue solo careers - living up to the group’s name - and who already have an impressive track record on disc (Moravec/Naxos: 8559323 and 8559698; Americans in Rome Bridge 9271, Cafe Music on Bridge 9296). Throw in great booklet notes by Malcolm McDonald and really vivid, emphatic sound that puts the artists in close-up without getting claustrophobic, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a disc. Welcomed without the slightest quibble.
 
Brian Reinhart 


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