The Florestan Trio is firmly established as one of Britain’s—indeed the world’s—most distinguished and remarkably talented ensembles, their Hyperion recordings of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms receiving universal praise. Here they turn their attention to Mendelssohn’s two late piano trios and the performances are fresh and exhilarating!
Mendelssohn was without doubt the most precociously gifted composer the world has ever known: not even Mozart produced ‘mature’ masterpieces while still in his teens. He was also double prodigy on the violin and piano (Clara Schumann described him as ‘the dearest pianist of all’), an exceptional athlete, a talented poet (Goethe was a childhood friend and confidant), multi-linguist, watercolorist and philosopher. He excelled at virtually anything which could hold his attention for long enough, although it was music above all which activated his creative imagination.
The well-known Op 49 in D minor and Op 66 in C minor represent the peak of Mendelssohn’s achievement in his relatively small output of chamber music; both trios are similar in structure and mood, beginning with a sombre and intense first movement, followed by a lyrical and melodic slow movement; the third movement is a fleeting and magical scherzo and ending with an energetic finale.