The Van Baerle Trio met by chance as students in Amsterdam. Eight years on and having won last year's Lyons International Chamber Music competition, pianist Hannes Minnaar, cellist Gideon den Herder and violinist Maria Milstein – all still in their 20s – have harnessed their diverse talents into a highly expressive unit, assisted by some tutoring from Menachem Presler, pianist of the fabled Beaux Arts Trio. This vital information helps explain the quality and insight of their playing in two hefty French works – the Saint-Saëns and that classic of the piano trio repertoire, the Ravel – and, as a novelty, the short, atmospheric Ackermusik by Dutch composer Theo Loevendie (b 1930). Worth discovering.
Saint-Saëns, Loevendie, Ravel: Piano Trios – review
Van Baerle Trio
Fiona Maddocks is the Observer's classical music critic. She is the author of Hildegard of Bingen, Harrison Birtwistle: Wild Tracks and Music for Life. Follow her on Twitter: @FionaMaddocks