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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, November 2012

This is Volume 2 of the Kungsbacka Trio’s Haydn piano trio series. This is a modern-instrument group that approaches Mozart and Haydn with a strong sense of historical practices and period style, and then turns its attention to Chopin with equal awareness of early romantic manners.

Haydn’s piano trios, as amiable, charming, and persuasive as they are, belong to the old order of a different world.

For those who prefer to hear these wonderful works on modern instruments, but in performances that recognize and respect historical practices, the Kungsbacka’s Haydn is, for me, the Haydn of choice. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

James H. North
Fanfare, November 2012

Most of the time, when we listen to discs we are sent to review, we must concentrate, working hard even when it is music we know and love, to uncover the secrets of that performance, that recording. That is impossible here: There is so much joy, so much loveliness, emanating from the speakers that we can only relax, smile, and let the music flow over us. Most of the credit goes to Haydn, of course, but the Kungsbacka Trio deserves its share, as does Naxos.

This is the second disc of a proposed complete set of Haydn’s piano trios. In Fanfare 35:3, I called Volume 1 “quite wonderful,” but this one is even more delightful. The Kungsbacka (Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano; Malin Broman, violin; Jesper Svedberg, cello) plays modern instruments with an easygoing, free-swinging style without ever forgetting 18th-century manners. The dark, mysterious Intermezzo of No. 28 is almost film noir music, in which the strings are barely present; Crawford-Phillips captures it perfectly. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

David Hurwitz, June 2012

The playing here is just beautiful—and you can hear it for yourself…in the Allegretto of Trio No. 28, one of the most haunting movements in the entire classical period. It has been played with positively monumental insensitivity by various period-instrument groups, but the Kungsbacka Trio finds the perfect tempo and mood. Indeed, choice of tempo is one of the chief strengths of these performances.

…Simon Crawford-Phillips treats his colleagues with great respect while never sounding a bit inhibited on his own account. The sonics also display all three players to flattering effect…in the realm of Haydn trio recordings this release earns a genuine mark of respect. Recommended. © 2012 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2012

Haydn had enjoyed a particularly happy period living in London, well away from a marriage that could not be described as wholly successful. A series of Piano Trios written there and in Vienna in 1796, declaring his good humour at the time. It is unquestionable that earliest of his works in this genre that began in 1784, had the harpsichord in mind, but this later group were most certainly for the newly developed pianoforte. Each was written in the conventional sonata form of three movements, and were essentially for keyboard with a violin and cello accompaniment. Even when the strings are given more importance, it is usually in a decorative role to elaborate on the keyboard’s thematic material. Just turn to the opening allegro of the Twenty-seventh to join in the joy of the music, the following andante has sun glinting through its easy going disposition. Each trio is relatively short, the style of writing treading a well-known Haydn path, the finales bracing and requiring dexterity from the keyboard. The first volume from the UK-based Kungsbacka Trio drew a highly favourable review in these columns, particularly for the dexterity of the pianist, Simon Cawford Phillips, the strings providing just the right weight. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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