Trio Solisti: Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff

Someone needs to talk to Bridge Records. It doesn’t sense for them to offer these two Trio Solisti discs for the price of one. Both discs are strong enough to stand on their own merits — and Bridge could have realized double the sales. Especially as these are all performances worth owning.

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor was the work that let the piano trio take hold in Russia. It’s a work that’s been recorded many times, of course. The Trio Solisti make it one of deep personal expression. Yet they keep the emotional baggage light. In the hands of the Trio Solisti, the music’s emotional, yet calm; beautiful, yet aggressive; delicate, yet forceful.

Rachmaninoff wrote his Trio élégiaque No. 2 in response to Tchaikovsky’s death. He drew inspiration directly from Tchaikovski’s trio. It’s a somewhat somber work. The Trio Solisti play with restraint, but there’s a simmering energy that’s never far from the surface.

Rachmaninoff’s first trio is also included. It’s a single-movement student work completed in 1892. It’s a piece filled with the fiery passion of youth — and the Trio Solisti deliver every impassioned gesture with energy and precision.

As always, the Trio Solisti plays with precision and emotion. These performers are at the top of their game, and it makes their readings of these works both thrilling and enlightening to listen to.

Pairing these two discs together doesn’t make good economic sense, but it does aesthetically. If you listen to Tchaikovsky’s piano trio and follow it with Rachmaninoff’s memorial trio, connections become clearer. It seems Bridge knew what it was doing all along.

Trio Solisti: Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninoff
Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50
Rachmaninoff: Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor (1892); Trio élégiaque No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9 Bridge Records 9465A/B 2 discs for the price of 1

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