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Daniel Felsenfeld
ClassicsToday.com, April 2002

"The Eaken piano trio gives rollicking readings of each piece, displaying its collective virtuosity and seemingly endless color palette. Schifrin's "Tango" is appropriately brash, Schuller's "With Swing" does, in fact, swing, and Shapiro's subtle and beautiful harmonies are not cheezed up but are played with finesse and focus. This group has given each of these pieces serious thought, offering intelligent performances all around. Intimately recorded for all possible nuance, this disc is a worthwhile investigation of some obscure, interesting repertoire, especially attractive at the Naxos price."



Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, June 2001

"This new disc by the Dickinson College-based Eaken Piano Trio...is another grand success for series producerĀ­K its contents are uniformly interesting and attractive and the performances serve the music well...

As expected, the music evokes the French master, not through quotation but through allusions to idioms that he admired, including jazz and Middle Eastern music...

This recording shows ...[Nancy Baun and Gloria Whitne] to be a very talented ensemble, well at home with the varied demands put to them by Schifrin, Schuller, and Shapiro. At Naxos's price, this disc is practically demanding to be taken home by everyone reading this review. Heed its call."



Moore
American Record Guide, June 2001

"Shapiro turns out to be a sleeper. His 1992 Trio blends the simplicities of minimalism with folk music in a way that manages to avoid the pitfalls of either influence and creates a strong, personal statement. These three works are very enjoyable and mix well as a program."



Mark Stryker
Detroit Free Press, April 2001

"The subtext of this latest entry in Naxos' American Classics series is the eclectic thrust of contemporary American music, with a particular focus on the comfortable place jazz influences have assumed in traditional concert works. Best of the lot is Schuller's 1984 trio, in which the composer's refined formalism is liberated through the fantasy-like play of vivacious rhythms and alluring melodies. Schifrin's Homage a Ravel dips into South American rhythms, a bolero and other evocations of Ravel. Meanwhile, Shapiro stirs minimalism into a wild mix that also references Brahms and Prokofiev. The play of sources gets pretty cramped at times, but it's fun while it lasts."





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