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Classical - Released October 18, 2011 | Challenge Classics

The historical-performance movement has extended its reach into much of the 19th century, but this is the world-premiere recording of Robert Schumann's trios on historical instruments. Actually only the piano dates from Schumann's lifetime, but it's especially the violin and cello that differ markedly from their contemporary counterparts with their gut strings. The result is a pair of Schumann chamber music performances of a quieter cast than the common run, yet also moody and full of strong affect and characterization. The performers in the CD booklet imagine a conversation between Schumann's alter egos, Florestan and Eusebius, about the music, and indeed the ideal of chamber music as dialogue is vividly realized here. The playing is not majestic, but it's spontaneous and surprising. Sample the transition to the finale of the Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 63, with the indistinct sounds of the old piano in the slow movement giving way to the ecstatic Beethovenian finale. Omitting the brighter Piano Trio in F major, Op. 80, the performers are left with two dark works. The Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 110, with its rambling opening movement, was long taken as evidence of Schumann's growing mental instability and has been infrequently performed; opinion over the last few decades, however, has begun to treat Schumann's late works as genuinely experimental, and the inward, intimate reading here supports that position. Challenge Classics engineers, working in the FWL Studios in Leipzig, capture the unusual balance between the instruments extremely well. Period-instrument Schumann may not be at the top of buy lists, but any fan of Romantic-era chamber music should find this stimulating at the very least. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 11, 2013 | Challenge Classics

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Classical - Released May 1, 2015 | Challenge Classics

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Chamber Music - Released June 12, 2020 | Pan Classics