Piano Trio in D, Op.70/1 (Ghost)
Piano Trio in B flat, D898
Arman Trio [Deniz Arman Gelenbe (piano), Constantin Bogdanas (violin) & Dorel Fodoreanu (cello)]
Recorded 12-13 February 2004 in the Theatre of the Moulin dAndé, Normandy, France
Reviewed by: Paul Pritchard
Reviewed: June 2005
CD No: AK MÜZIK 408 401-2
Duration: 70 minutes
The Arman Trio proves to be a vibrant and purposeful ensemble in this weighty coupling of two of the finest chamber works in the ‘standard’ literature.
The opening of the ‘Ghost’ is both expressive and dramatic, and there is a good balance between the instruments; and it can be sensed that the individual musicians are both confident in themselves and make a true chamber group in terms of listening and interacting with each other. Just occasionally, in Beethoven’s first movement, there is a need for a little less intensity and for some paring down of tone; both string players produce rich colours that can be a little wearing over a long span; the pianist is very accommodating of her colleagues.
The Largo, still and eerie and contributing to the work’s nickname, needs a broader tempo, ‘colder’ timbres and more quietude to create a chilling atmosphere for this movement to make its full effect. Here the recording, produced by the veteran Ateş Orga, comes into question – for the most part close to the listener, the musicians are brought forward from a rather reverberant acoustic. This may account for the slightly ‘tired’ feeling that I felt after auditioning this release; and for all the closeness of the Trio, sometimes lines are not as clear as they might be. The finale of the ‘Ghost’ is especially well done, though – both in tempo and in preparation and delivery.
The sunnier of Schubert’s two piano trios is given a measured account, gratefully articulate in the first movement. There’s an old-world breadth here that is refreshing, as is the musicians’ savouring of Schubert’s lyricism. Although the music is taken at face value, there’s an engagement here than communicates itself very strongly to the listener. The lovely slow movement is launched with the appealingly plaintive tones of Dorel Fodoreanu’s cello, the scherzo has an amiable demeanour, and the finale doesn’t indulge the coffee-house tunes, finding both shape and rigour to satisfy a culminating symphonic movement.
Reservations aside, it is a pleasure to come across a group that plays with genuine musical relish; most certainly this release, especially the Schubert, is worth hearing and returning to. The label is Turkish but can hopefully be easily obtained.