Magazine article Czech Music

The Smetana Trio: Tchaikovsky, Dvorak

Magazine article Czech Music

The Smetana Trio: Tchaikovsky, Dvorak

Article excerpt

Smetana Trio: Jitka Cechova--piano, Jana Vonaskova-Novakova--violin, Jan Palenicek--cello. Production: Matous Vlcinsky. Text: Cz., Eng., Ger., Fr. Recorded: Apr-May 2008, Bohemia Music Studio, Prague. Released: 2008. TT: 73:12. DDD. 1 CD Supraphon SU 39492.

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Few Czech chamber ensembles play with such huge personal commitment as the Smetana Trio, and this CD is no exception. Tchaikovsky's major three-quarter-of-an-hour Piano Trio in a minor is among the most difficult of piano trios and as performed by the Smetana Trio it has an almost symphonic lift and expansiveness. The first movement rises in great excited waves, full of Russian melancholy and extreme emotionality; the two funeral marches (in the middle of the movement and at the end) are desolate with emptiness and darkness. By contrast in this essentially gloomy movement the following variations introduce light and poetry into the composition. Here the musicians work brilliantly with contrasts of mood and cast wonderful spells with sound. In their performance every variation is an exquisite, very colourful picture. The movement culminates in the magnificent finale, which is charged with elan and optimism. …

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