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Hyperion Records

SACDA67114 - Debussy, Fauré & Ravel: Piano Trios

Recording details: March 1999
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: November 1999
Total duration: 64 minutes 47 seconds


'The Florestans, exhibiting their trademark finesse, taste and sensitivity, fully demonstrate why they are one of the most highly prized of new ensembles' (The Scotsman)

'Fresh from their triumph at the Gramophone Awards with Schumann, the Florestans turn their attention to the French trio repertoire and, in particular, to a composer with whom pianist Susan Tomes and cellist Richard Lester have an especial affinity: Gabriel Fauré. Of the three works presented here, the Fauré is the latest (1923), but stylistically the D Minor Trio is as conservative as the G Minor Trio of the 18-year-old Debussy, although Fauré's late essay in the form is unquestionably the greater work. The Florestans play both with a rhythmic urgency in the fast movements and rapt concentration in the Andantinos that take the breath away. They are even finer in Ravel's masterpiece, playing with a technical bravura and sheer panache to match the greatest interpreters of this work on disc. Another absolute winner' (The Sunday Times)

'It's a lovely recital; I've never been so convinced that the Debussy's worth hearing, and the Ravel is full of delicate delights.' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A delightful grouping of French trios from the Gramophone Award-winning Florestan's, who breathe fresh life into these works … top of my list.' (Gramophone)

'Such flair proves the Florestan Trio, if proof is needed, to be among the finest chamber ensembles of the present day. Outstandingly imaginative performances, finely recorded' (Classic CD)


'One of the best SACD discs to date. On the CD layer the recording sounds vibrant, fluid and hugely enjoyable. Switch to SACD, though, [and you’ll find] the instruments are more clearly delineated and simply sound more real, while the sense of air and space in the acoustic is thrilling … You feel enveloped as if you were there'' (Gramophone)

'Beautifully wrought performances. Rendered with natural empathy and graceful ensemble-playing, the Florestan’s playing is quite glorious' (Fanfare, USA)

'From impressive to breathtaking' (What Hi-Fi?)

'Excellent' (Hi-Fi News and Record Review)

Debussy, Fauré & Ravel: Piano Trios
The Florestan Trio Super-Audio CD — Deleted  

The three trios on this disc are the work of, respectively, a teenager, a nearly-forty-year-old and a seventy-seven-year-old. So it's understandable not only that the difference in musical language is even greater than the composers' names might suggest, but that each may be heard as having a different significance within its composer's oeuvre.

To modern ears the Debussy trio appears to be nothing like the mature Debussy we know, but more like Delibes. Although maybe no more than salon music, it gives immediate pleasure If this Trio shows us a young composer in search of his technique, Ravel's trio shows us a middle-aged one exulting in his. A wonderfully written piano trio which in the hands of The Florestan Trio shows a work of true magic. Likewise the Fauré—a trio written at the end of his life and showing the profound and austere characteristics of his last works.

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