One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Reger Violin Sonatas
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
9 cello sonatas
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Arno BABADJANIAN (1921-1983)
Piano Trio in F sharp minor (1953) [25:38]
Peteris VASKS (b.1946)
Piano Trio: Episodi e Canto Perpetuo (1985) [27:27]
Potch Trio
rec. 25-26 March, 1997, Studio M1, Radio Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
DELOS DE 3420 [53:05]

There’s no compelling logic for conjoining these two piano trios, other than a generalised sense of the works’ frank expressivity.

Arno Babadjanian’s Trio, one of his best works – though not quite on a par with his Violin Sonata – was composed in 1953 when the Armenian composer was in his early thirties. Its ethos is fin de siècle fused with Late-Romanticism, inclining towards a richness of expression both melancholic – in its very opening paragraphs – and more extrovert. His gift for melodic distinction is heard at its finest in the central slow movement where the violin soars over a rich bed of nostalgic piano writing, the cello then adding its own commentary. The Potch Trio ensure that the music’s essential refinement is honoured, shaping dynamics – especially pianissimos – with perception. The music’s stance is turned inward here through intelligent modifications of vibrato – not too much – thereby allowing the folkloric dance in the finale to emerge the more dramatically. Somewhat Bartókian, this engaging music slows for the second subject before ratcheting tension for a rhythmically vital, energetic finale.

By contrast Peteris Vasks’ Trio Episodi e Canto Perpetuo is considerably more allusive. The composer has written an extensive commentary in the score in which the titles of the eight episodes - Crescendo, Misterioso, Unisoni, Bulesca, Monologhi, Canto Perpetuo, Apogeo e coda – give a strong clue as to the Trio’s expressive journey. There are plenty of timbral contrasts here, moments when the piano’s sparse trills act as a prompt and angular agitated repetitive writing – active minimalism, if you will. One of the most impressive movements of all is Episode 5, the monologue, in which nostalgia and rapt melancholia – qualities shared here with the Babadjanian – co-exist with the piano’s repetitive tolling. Vasks reserves his most lovely writing for the penultimate movement, the Canto, which enshrines a glorious melody that gradually thins to usher in the finale that furthers recedes to a disappearing point.

Delos has picked up this 1997 recording and worthily so, as the Potch Trio project much of the two works’ essential spirit with care and sympathy.

Jonathan Woolf
Previous review: Brian Reinhart