S0035. THE MOSCOW TRIO: Piano Trio in c (Rimsky-Korsakov); Unfinished Piano Trio in D (Borodin). (Germany) Harmonia Mundi LDC 288 051, recorded 1992. Final Sealed Copy! - 3149025056559
"The Moscow Piano Trio Ensemble is considered one of the World’s main chamber ensembles. The soloists of the collective are People’s Artists of Russia; they are Alexander Bonduryansky (piano), Vladimir Ivanov (violin), and Mikhail Utkin (cello).
When Rimsky-Korsakov wrote his Trio, he was already an established master of orchestration, and one can sense this. All textures are crafted with skill, although the solutions are often quite standard. You would never guess the composer in a blind test. The first movement is reminiscent of the piano trios by Mendelssohn, with boiling spirits, dramatic turbulence and bittersweet schmerz. This is followed by a fussy Scherzo, crisp and repetitive. The slow movement is an operatic duet, a sweet and mellow dialogue of two lovers, full of tenderness and warmth. It calls to mind places in Rimsky’s operas, and also the slow romances in the chamber works of Mendelssohn and Schumann. The energetic and theatrical finale displays skilful treatment of motifs in a sequence of characteristic scenes – agitated, lyrical, capricious, dramatic and jubilant in turn. The performance is fresh and to the point, with both energy and attention to detail. This is an interesting side of Rimsky-Korsakov, one that is scarcely known.
The unfinished Trio by young Borodin is in contrast to that by Rimsky-Korsakov, less skilled and polished but more audacious. Borodin was always an experimenter. The opening movement is full of youthful energy; the performance has drive and buoyancy, and does not relax its grip for a moment. The slow movement is a subtle song without words. The Intermezzo is an energetic Mazurka, with much juicy bravura. This movement does not really work as an ending; I feel a want of something fast and light to come after it. This is surely the lamentable reality of a work that is unfinished and not the performers’ fault: they are attentive and enthusiastic throughout."
- Oleg Ledeniov