GRANADOS: Piano Trio in C, Op. 50. DVOŘÁK: Piano Trio No. 3 in f min., Op. 65 / Halíř Trio / ArcoDiva UP 0203
In a nutshell, these are absolutely exquisite performances by the Halíř Trio, with which I was completely unfamiliar. The music flows from their fingers with a legato smoothness so complete that you’d think you were listening to a trio from 60 years ago, when musical subtlety and legato meant more than just slamming through the score. From the first phrase of the Granados Trio, they have you in their thrall and never let go. Moreover, their numerous large and small rubato touches give the music an extraordinary amount of color and atmosphere. It is simply an extraordinary performance, one that almost transcends criticism because it is of the sort that you just listen to and enjoy, not sit and analyze phrase-by-phrase (though that is certainly possible).
As for the music, the Granados Trio is quite charming; clearly not one of his most complex works, but well-written as usual. Yet the Halíř Trio plays it as if it were great music, holding the listener’s attention from start to finish.
The Dvořák Trio is an entirely different case; this is clearly one of the composer’s greatest pieces, and although Halíř doesn’t quite match the intensity of Trio Solisti on Bridge, they play it with their own particular sense of involvement and make even more, I think, of the more lyrical passages. I could say a great deal about their subtlety of inflection in this work as well, but I will leave it to the listener to discover these little treasures for themselves.
A short review, then, but a very positive one. I really wish this trio good luck in the future, and look forward to hearing them again on records!
—© 2018 Lynn René Bayley
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