The Joachim Trio plays it well—and a number of us think it the best because of the sustaining power, the intensity, the refined tone colors, and the atmosphere—but some of the slow tempos can seem too slow.
The Naxos version by the Joachim Trio who comprise Rebecca Hirsch, Caroline Dearnley and the pianist John Lenehan is worthy any collector’s notice. They play with sensitive musicianship and finesse. Their performance is imaginative and beautifully recorded, and it is far from uncompetitive.
The Joachims prove worthy advocates, rarely allowing Ravel's assiduous attention to detail to obscure the overall intention. Consequently the sense of 'performance' is laudably strong and Florent Schmitt's subdued Tres Lent - a real rarity - acts as a calming encore after the ebullientconclusion to the Ravel. Further releases of French Piano Trios featuring Saint-Saens and Chabrier can be expected from Naxos and, on the evidence of this first disc, it should prove to be a very rewarding series.
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