Rachmaninov: Piano Trios, etc – review

Ashkenazy/Visontay/Lidstrom
(Decca)

Both Rachmaninov's piano trios are early works (1892 and 1893), and both are trios elégiaques, though only the larger-scale second, in D minor Op 9, was composed as a memorial – to Tchaikovsky, whose death affected Rachmaninov profoundly. The older composer's own piano trio hangs over both works, too, especially the G minor, sometimes embarrassingly similar to Tchaikovsky's first movement. But the piano writing already has the fluency of Rachmaninov's later music, and it's Vladimir Ashkenazy's treatment of that – wonderfully coloured and full-bodied without ever becoming overbearing – that's the main pleasure of this disc. Unfortunately, violinist Zsolt-Tihamer Visontry and cellist Mats Lidstrom seem far less involved, and too often the music needs a higher plane while the string players remain earthbound.

Contributor

Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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