Ravel: Piano Trio in A minor; Saint-Saëns: Piano Trio No 2 in E minor, Op 92

Reviewed on Mon 09 Jan, 2017

These tasteful artists transmit a very real joy in teamwork, while Mary Dullea's deft pianism gives enormous pleasure throughout.

Saint-Saëns began work on his Second Piano Trio in Algeria during the spring of 1892, completing it in Geneva that same summer. Still something of a rarity, it's cast in five movements, two ambitious outer movements flanking a wholly charming, five-beats-in-a-bar Allegretto and lilting Grazioso waltz episode, and featuring a beguiling lyrical interlude at its heart. On this, their debut recording for Resonus Classics, the Fidelio Trio do the piece proud; indeed, these tasteful artists transmit a very real joy in teamwork, while Mary Dullea's deft pianism gives enormous pleasure throughout. The performance of Ravel's masterly lone essay in the medium is just as rewarding in its cogent sweep and selfless commitment, with playing that is always exquisitely supple, rhythmically buoyant and searchingly poetic. Boasting immaculate production-values courtesy of Adam Binks and lucid booklet-notes by Nigel Simeone, this pairing represents a genuine tonic.
–Andrew Achenbach