The Florestan Trio – Haydn Piano Trios, Volume 1

0 of 5 stars

Piano Trios – in D, Hob XV:24; in G, Hob XV:25 (Gypsy Rondo); in F sharp minor, Hob XV:26; in C, Hob XV:27

The Florestan Trio [Anthony Marwood (violin), Richard Lester (cello) & Susan Tomes (cello)]

Recorded 27-29 March 2008 in Henry Wood Hall, London

Reviewed by: Colin Anderson

Reviewed: January 2009
Duration: 64 minutes



Listed as Volume 1, maybe Hyperion and The Florestan Trio are to give us all of Joseph Haydn’s 40-plus piano trios (which would certainly be welcome during 2009, marking two-hundred years since Haydn died). Although this great composer is associated first and foremost with the symphony, string quartet and piano sonata, the invention that distinguishes his contribution to the literature of the piano trio is scarcely less fine.

What a great ‘ideas man’ Haydn was; more than that he knew what do with them, too. Of the four piano trios selected here to launch the series, each is a delight, each of the twelve movements different, and including the lively ‘Gypsy Rondo’ (the finale of the G major work), such a familiar and scintillating miniature. If the medium of the piano trio is somewhat domestic, there is nothing limited about Haydn’s inventiveness for it; and if the lofty slow movement of the F sharp minor example seems familiar, it is shared with Symphony No.102.

What comes through vividly here is Haydn’s capacity to surprise; and the discovery of the music is in listening to them. Suffice it to say that the music’s essential grace, lightness and sparkle is affectionately captured by the members of The Florestan Trio, who are also alive to the musical and emotional diversions that Haydn imaginatively and wittily incorporates. The musicians are very generous in the observance of repeats.

With excellent recorded sound and an illuminating booklet note by Robert Philip, this release offers much joy. If you reach track 12 – as you surely must – it is all there, unalloyed!

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