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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67556
Recording details: May 2005
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2006
Total duration: 21 minutes 40 seconds

'These are beautifully judged performances, generally fleeter of foot, airier of texture and more intimate in tone with an ideal balance between the instruments' (Gramophone)

'Superb execution … another feather in the Florestan Trio's cap' (International Record Review)

'Susan Tomes’s sprightly piano is in its element, leading the dance in these three mature trios … moods change at a flick of Mozart’s wrist, and Tomes, Anthony Marwood and Richard Lester have all the flexibility needed' (The Times)

'As in all their artistic endeavours, this outstanding disc of Mozart piano trios from the acclaimed Florestan Trio demonstrates a delightfully unforced lyricism coupled with the most exquisite, long-lined phrasing … sample the luminous performance of the central Andante grazioso of the E major Trio K542 to hear chamber music playing of the very highest order' (HMV Choice)

'The Florestan Trio makes this lovely music shimmer with dazzling facility. These are seasoned Mozart interpretations of high order' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'The Florestan Trio's accounts of the Third, Fourth, and Sixth trios set reference standards for stylish perception, textural transparency, and the kind of sophisticated articulation and motivic interplay that may be preplanned, yet never seems intellectualized … Hyperion's clear, full-bodied, and impeccably-balanced engineering deserves its own rave review' (ClassicsToday.com)

'The Florestan Trio, with pianist Susan Tomes at her most beguiling, give a scintillating account of three mature Mozart piano trios on this disc … whatever the technical intensity of the constituent roles Mozart demands of them, Antony Marwood and Richard Lester are well aware of how to make the best of their contributions. This is musical team-work of a very high order' (The Cambridge Society)

'The Florestan Trio, whose recording of Mozart Piano Trios prove an unmitigated delight' (Secrets, Australia)

'A delight … its virtues, of course, were no surprise. Susan Tomes' Mozartian credentials were richly established with her 2004 recording of the Piano Concertos K413-415 on Hyperion CDA67358 … performances as fine as anything ever released of these enchanting works. She is a pianist, and artist, of the front rank' (Piano, Germany)

Piano Trio in B flat major, K502
composer
1786

Allegro  [8'27]
Larghetto  [7'04]
Allegretto  [6'09]

Other recordings available for download
London Fortepiano Trio
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1786, when he wrote the Piano Trio in B flat major K502, Mozart was at the height of his powers and enjoying the only period of real success in his adult career. The previous year he had completed the six string quartets dedicated to Haydn, and The Marriage of Figaro received its premiere in May 1786. He had now been living in Vienna for five years. When he had first moved there, pianos were not yet the dominant keyboard instrument (as they already were in London and Paris), and it was Mozart more than anyone who awoke the Viennese to the possibilities of the piano as a concerto and chamber instrument. 1786 was the year of three of his greatest piano concertos (K488 in A major, K491 in C minor, and K503 in C major) and of three trios—the sublime ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio for clarinet, viola and piano (K498), and the first two of his mature trios for violin, cello and piano, in G major (K496) and B flat major (K502). These are quite different from the contemporary ‘accompanied sonatas’, giving the violin and cello an independence on which Beethoven was later to build.

Despite this new independence of the string parts, the B flat Trio has a particularly flamboyant character in its piano-writing which makes it seem almost like a concerto. The first-movement Allegro is constructed virtually throughout from the opening phrases, in which piano and stringed instruments answer each other—an economy of means that is much more characteristic of Haydn than of Mozart. Only at the start of the central development section does Mozart venture further afield, with a new theme first on violin then on cello. The Larghetto is a movement of highly decorated lyricism, with a simpler and more poised middle section. Again the style of the elaboration seems to suggest homage to Haydn. The finale is a wide-ranging rondo. Its opening phrase has a rather antique character, like a subject for an organ fugue. From time to time Mozart does treat it to ‘learned’ counterpoint, but always with his characteristically light touch, and interspersed with dashing passages of virtuoso piano-writing. These are combined in a brilliant way as the movement draws to a close. But it is the unassuming little second theme that ends the work, wittily played in counterpoint, as violin and cello answer each other like two characters vying to be the last to leave the stage.

from notes by Robert Philip © 2006


Other albums featuring this work
'Mozart: Piano Trios K502 & 564' (CDA66125)
Mozart: Piano Trios K502 & 564
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66125  Archive Service; also available on CDS44021/3  
'Mozart: Six Piano Trios' (CDS44021/3)
Mozart: Six Piano Trios
MP3 £11.25FLAC £11.25ALAC £11.25Buy by post £41.97 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDS44021/3  3CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service   Download currently discounted

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