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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22053
Recording details: October 1995
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: May 1996
Total duration: 21 minutes 50 seconds

'I can't imagine [Susan Tomes's] playing will be surpassed in its sense of style and finesse. Much the same must be said of The Gaudier Ensemble who are little short of superb … it is all hugely enjoyable and well recorded, with very present and finely detailed sound. Recommended with enthusiasm' (Gramophone)

'Cherish this glowing collection of near-masterpieces, played with the utmost sensitivity and panache by the Gaudiers and the always wonderful Susan Tomes' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Piano Quintet comes off marvellously and compares favourably with any performance on record, past or present … delightful performances on which it would be difficult to improve, and excellent recordings too' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'This is very fine chamber music playing indeed. Delightful music played in exactly the right spirit' (Classic CD)

'The Gaudier Ensemble is flawless, unfailingly persuasive and play with both vigour and polish which makes this issue irresistible … it is difficult to conceive of better performances than these; each of the players … combines to the highest degree a virtuoso command of his or her instrument, a complete involvement in the score at hand, and perfect blending in ensemble. Hyperion's recording is as pure and natural as one could wish. Even the booklet is a model of what such things should be … any serious collector who has not yet encountered this music should search for this disc ASAP' (Fanfare, USA)

'Superbe' (Diapason, France)

Piano Trio No 2 in F minor
3 March 1851

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
During the 1850s Berwald composed a number of chamber works with piano, largely because of his interest in the pianist, Hilda Thegerström. It was with her in mind that he wrote his two piano quintets and the Piano Concerto. In all he composed five piano trios, four of which are numbered. The first in C major dates from 1845 and the first numbered essay in the genre, a Trio in E flat was composed four years later. The Piano Trio No 2 in F minor comes from 1851 and the autograph score is dated 3 March. The piece is dedicated to Matthäus von Rosthorn, an Austrian businessman in whose home at Oed bei Wien the Berwalds had stayed at the time of their son Hjalmar’s birth. It is basically a three-movement piece played without a break. After the last movement, which Berwald calls a Scherzo, he returns us to the material of the opening in a short coda of some sixty-five bars. The writing is full of original touches and rhythmic vitality, and the placid Mendelssohnian surface is disturbed by all sorts of characteristically Berwaldian flourishes and, in the theme of the slow movement, a sudden and unexpected modulation down a semitone from F to E major. The Swedish historian Ingvar Andersson speaks in his two-volume study of ‘the wine which Berwald’s music offers us: at its finest moments, dry, elegant and of great finesse’—and on hearing the F minor Trio, one is tempted to add sparkle.

from notes by Robert Layton © 1997

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