Trio Wanderer FRANZ SCHUBERT Trios op. 99 & 100

As fine a set of Schubert's piano trios as has ever been recorded, this 2008 release by the Trio Wanderer is true both to the letter and the spirit of Schubert's scores. There's joy, strength, sentimentality, and exaltation in the French trio's performances, a sense of openness and wonder. As in earlier recordings of piano trios by Brahms and Saint-Saëns, the Trio Wanderer once again demonstrates its mastery of ensemble playing, but there is something special about the playing of the music of the composer from whose famous song the group took its name.
It is, in a word, lyricism. One can almost hear voices singing in the legato lines of violinist Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian and cellist Raphaël Pidoux and in the rounded phrasing with discrete but judicious applications of the sustaining pedal of pianist Vincent Coq. While the Allegros do not lack for force and the fortes do not want for power, it is in the expressive Andantes and intimate pianissimos that the Trio Wanderer's performances take flight. Recorded in clear, close, and immediate sound, this disc demands to be heard by listeners interested in the repertoire or the composer. (James Leonard)

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