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Keaton
American Record Guide, October 2007

The Xyron Trio is a German group, formed in 2001. Nina Tichman is the pianist, with Ida Bieler on violin and Maria Kliegel on cello. Their career to date has been mainly Europe, plus a recent tour of New Zealand. They have already recorded the two Opus 70 trios on Naxos, enthusiastically reviewed by Elaine Fine (J/F 2006). I am happy to report that this recording is also delightful. These are terrific musicians.

They play with flawless ensemble, subtle phrasing, and great rhythmic energy-- essential for Beethoven. What struck me most of all was their wonderful sense of architecture. Bernstein once wrote that Beethoven's strongest quality was a sense of the inevitable. Each note, each rhythm, each phrase, each movement, was simply right. Nothing else would do; each element had to be there.

That was the feeling I got from these performances. From the first note to the last, everything was perfectly timed, placed, and executed. Even in these works, the first he published after his move to Vienna, Beethoven knew what he wanted and where he was going. The makeweight Allegretto is a work without opus, though not without interest, and functions as a pleasant encore to the recital.

With Beethoven, of course, there will be no shortage of great performances. Consider the Trio Parnassus on MDG (N/D 2001) or the Chung Trio on EMI (J/F 1994). But this is a satisfying performance, and it can stand comparison to any of the competition.



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2007

The second edition in an ongoing series that will contain all of the composer's music for piano trio, the present release taking us back to works probably composed by Beethoven in his teenage year and taken to Vienna as his 'visiting cards'. From the outset the players are intent on extracting the maximum feel of vivacity without ever allowing the music to sound breathless, and I cannot recall hearing a happier conclusion to the second of the trios. Nina Tichman's piano playing again displays her mercurial fingers, and piano trios at this time were very much a violin and piano duo underpinned by cello. She is well matched by the equally nimble left hand of the violinist, Ida Bieler, the two string players being at their most persuasive in slow movements. To complete the disc the short Allegretto, written quite late in life, has the simple joy and affection that Beethoven felt towards its recipient, the young Maximiliane Brentano. The engineers have set the piano well back and almost in its own ambience, though for some reason it seems to come forward in the second trio's opening Adagio.






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12:32:13 PM, 2 September 2014
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