Trio con Brio Copenhagen

16 Mar 2024 | BBC Music Magazine

The Trio’s demonic energy almost takes your breath away

Chamber Choice of the Month & double 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine

PERFORMANCE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

RECORDING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Admirers of Weinberg’s 1945 Piano Trio are almost spoilt for choice when it comes to fine recordings of this powerful work. Many of the current front-runners come from the likes of violinists Gidon Kremer and Linus Roth, who have invested a great deal of energy in attempting to place the composer more firmly in our musical consciousness.

Their endeavours have surely paid dividends with this warmly recorded release, which places the work not in the obvious context of Russian, Soviet or Polish repertory, but in tandem with one of the greatest Austro-German chamber works of the 19th century. The pairing of trios by such seemingly disparate figures as Weinberg and Schubert, however, reveals far more connections between the two composers than might have been imagined.

Yes, Weinberg’s work is much bleaker, exploring a bewildering range of emotions from the wild unfettered frenzy of the second movement scherzo to the deeply unsettled, almost schizophrenic changes of mood in the Finale. But there are also extremely dark elements in the Schubert, not least in the death-ridden climax of the slow movement.

Trio con Brio deliver Weinberg’s music with tremendous emotional commitment and insight. The demonic energy they conjure up in the scherzo almost takes your breath away, as does their ability to convey mournful introspection in the more reflective moments. The Schubert requires different interpretative skills, such as grace and elegance as well as a subtlety and variety of tonal colouring in balancing the three instruments – qualities which are evident throughout every bar in this outstanding performance.