After sixteen years of exceptional achievement and vast critical acclaim the career paths of the members of The Florestan Trio are diverging: the trio will dispand at the end of 2011 and this disc marks the end of their studio career. Audiences worldwide have become accustomed to the trios quality, elegance and virtuosity. They have recorded the major works of the piano trio repertoire for Hyperion and these interpretations are frequently viewed as benchmark versions. For this final recording the trio perform an all-Shostakovich programme comprising the two piano trios and the Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok, for which the trio is joined by the glorious soprano voice of Susan Gritton.
Piano Trio No 1 was written in 1923, an astonishing achievement for a seventeen-year-old student. Piano Trio No 2, one of the composer’s greatest masterpieces, was premiered some twenty years later in 1944 and in this turbulent work we are presented with a huge array of dramatic juxtapositions.
The Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok were the response to a request by Mstislav Rostropovich for repertoire he and his wife could perform together. This unusual and intimate sequence of songs conveys the sweetness and intensity of love, threatened by intimations of darkness.
In this recording The Florestan Trio display their impeccable interpretative judgment, class and musicianship.