Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor Op 50; Rachmaninov: Trios élégiaques – No 1 in G minor (1892); No 2 in D minor, Op 9

Reviewed on Mon 17 Oct, 2016

These are impressive performances, marred only by an occasional feeling of constraint. Highly expressive playing, especially from the strings, is sometimes restricted by inflexible tempos.

The Tchaikovsky Piano Trio receives a bold and forthright reading here from Trio Soloisti. Gestures and phrases are emphatic and clearly defined. Expressive cello solos from Alexis Pia Gerlach are the defining feature of the first movement, while the textural intricacies of the variations that follow demonstrate the group’s impressive ensemble playing. Rachmaninoff’s two Trios élégiaques make a logical coupling, even if the combination inadvertently highlights the near plagiarism by Rachmaninoff in his first trio of Tchaikovsky’s main theme. Pianist Adam Neiman is the star here, rising to the challenges of Rachmaninoff’s virtuoso writing to dominate the ensemble. These are impressive performances, marred only by an occasional feeling of constraint. Highly expressive playing, especially from the strings, is sometimes restricted by inflexible tempos. That also has the effect of highlighting a lack of variety in Rachmaninoff’s textures. The Tchaikovsky comes off best here – a more convincing performance, and of a superior work.
–Gavin Dixon