Sensational Mendelssohn from Danish Trio

Trio Con Brio's emotional intense recording of Mendelssohn's Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2 is up there with the best performances

Composer: Mendelssohn
Repertoire:  Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2

Artists: Trio Con Brio Copenhagen
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Chamber
Label: MARQUIS MQ 1409

The Music: Mendelssohn’s penchant for rippling piano figurations and espressivo string writing goes into overdrive in two of his greatest chamber masterpieces.

The Performances: Not since the famous coupling by Isaac Stern and friends for CBS (now Sony, SMK 64519) have Mendelssohn’s two piano trios been performed with such emotional intensity on disc. If anything the Trio Con Brio goes one better with playing that caresses the lower end of the dynamic spectrum as much as it exalts in the music’s climaxes. Every phrase soars and pulsates with the excitement of a fresh discovery as the Copenhagen players go the full distance with playing of skin-rippling sensitivity, enhanced by engineering of velvet-glove radiance.

The Verdict: Sensational playing from Korean sisters Soo-Jin Hong and Soo-Kyung Hong and Danish piano wizard Jens Elvekjaer makes this my chamber disc of 2011.

Want More? Try their outstanding debut recording of trios by Ravel, Dvořák and Bloch (Azica, ACD-71240).

Why You’ll Love This

    Chamber Virtuosity

The Trio Con Brio captures perfectly the fizzing exuberance of Mendelssohn’s quick-fire interchanges and bravado, yet keeps everything on a tantalisingly intimate scale.

•    Trailblazing Scherzo
Mendelssohn’s greatest gift to Western music was a new kind of feather-light scherzo, which in both works the Trio con Brio floats aloft with astonishing agility and nimble fingers.

•    Back To Bach

Bach was one of Mendelssohn’s favourite composers and one can sense his dramatic organ style coursing through the musical veins of the second Piano Trio’s opening bars.