Schubert’s Piano Trios

I buy few new CDs these days, as I already have ridiculously many (and multiple recordings of most pieces that I really care about it). But I was driving home from my aged mother’s the other day, and the BBC were playing the Schiff/Shiokawa/Perényi recording of the E flat trio D 897, and I was bowled over. The double CD with the other trio, the D897 Notturno and the Arpeggione Sonata came out in 1997, Schubert’s bicentennial year, but — though I’ve always admired Schiff’s Schubert playing — I’d missed this record. But, still in stock at Amazon, it arrived a couple of days ago.

And it indeed is terrific. The performances could hardly be bettered it seems to me — there’s a flow to the playing and a rapport between the three that gives new life to the pieces after years of listening to the Beaux Arts’ recordings. The Gramophone review agrees. (I can’t imagine though why, after a decade, this hasn’t been reissued in a cheaper version: it deserves to be on everyone’s shelves.)

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