Kempf Trio's adrenaline shot of Shostakovich

The Freddy Kempf led Kempf Trio are enthralling on this passionate, biting recording of Shostakovich and Schnittke piano trios

Composer: Shostakovich, Schnittke
Repertoire: Piano Trios 
Artists: Kempf Trio
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Chamber
Label: BIS BIS-SACD-1482

There’s an edge of magical adrenaline in this recording from pianist Freddy Kempf, violinist Pierre Bensaid and cellist Alexander Chaushian. Cleverly, they’ve matched Shostakovich’s famous Piano Trio No.2 with his early one-movement trio plus the trio by Schnittke, who was considered by many to be Shostakovich’s natural successor. The eerie opening high notes of Shostakovich’s Second are mirrored almost uncannily by the closing bars of the Schnittke. Throughout, the playing is compelling, the ensemble unified, the richness and acidity of passion, despair and biting irony brilliantly conveyed.