Beethoven: Piano Trios Op 70 No 2, Op 97 ‘Archduke’

The fortepiano sounds like a gypsy dulcimer forging an easy interplay among the three musicians

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The first thing you notice here is the timbre of the fortepiano, lightening the overall texture: in Melnikov’s hands it sometimes sounds like a gypsy dulcimer.

What emerges next is the easy interplay between these three distinguished musicians. In the gentle third movement Allegretto of Opus 70 No 2, you sense a more harmonious, more instinctive – and less competitive – collaboration than is usual when star soloists make chamber music.

The “Archduke” receives a delightfully intimate performance: the voicing of each instrument comes across with equal clarity, and the great Andante cantabile casts its spell afresh.

Beethoven

Piano Trios Op 70 No 2, Op 97 “Archduke”

Alexander Melnikov, Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras

(Harmonia Mundi)

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